President John Mahama has declared everyday as “made in Ghana day” as part of a campaign to vigorously promote the domestic manufacturing industry.
This comes after he called on Ghanaians to develop the appetite for local goods to create the needed domestic market for Ghana’s entrepreneurs during the state of the nation address.
According to President Mahama, this campaign is to add steam to the promotion of Friday wear by the previous President Kufuor administration.
Former President John Kufuor’s administration through the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development and the President’s special initiative (PSI) eight years ago, launched the “National Friday Wear programme,” to promote the wearing of local fabrics on Friday.
This was an opportunity to showcase Ghana’s unique wealth of exquisite designs and traditional techniques in the textile industry and also make in-roads into the restricted international textile market.
Delivering the 57th Independence Day address at the Black Star Square, President Mahama noted that “the time has come for us to move Ghana to the next level, I’m calling for every day to be made a made in Ghana day”.
Meanwhile, the President’s campaign comes at a time when local textile producers are sounding alarms bells of the gradual collapse of the textile industry in Ghana.
Some of the local textile companies including Akosombo Textile Limited, Ghana Textile Print (GTP) and Printex have cut down significantly on production due to Ghana’s trade liberalization policies and programmes, leading to competition with cheap imports from Asia.
The Textiles, Garment and Leather Employees Union (TEGLEU) of the Ghana Federation of Labour has also consistently lamented the smuggling and importation of pirated textile into the country.
According to them, the industry which once employed about 25,000 workers, now employs less than 4,000.
President Mahama also reiterated his government’s commitment to add value to raw materials produced in Ghana and cut down on the importation of some items into the country.
This comes after government early on announced plans to stop the importation of some items into the country, which is contributing to the pressure on the cedi.
He explained that Ghanaians are some of the most enterprising people in the world, “we are smart, we are creative, we are crafty, we have a good business sense and when put to the sense we are indeed hard working” adding that “there is no reason why a significant number of the items that we import to use on a daily basis cannot be made right here in Ghana…If we are to be truly independent we can’t not allow our destiny to be determined by corporations, industries or individuals who exist beyond our national borders”.
By: Rabiu Alhassan/citifmonline.com/Ghana