The failure of governments since 1966 to develop and implement a coherent supply chain and logistics strategy in support of the country�s gateway initiative continues to be a major impediment towards Ghana�s goals of becoming a middle income country.
Abundance of resources yet still relatively socio-economically poor! Ghana is one of the few countries in the world to be endowed with much needed resources that can easily serve as a catalyst for major long term socio-economic growth.Gold, Cocoa, Industrial diamonds bauxite, manganese and now oil!
In addition the country is blessed with one of the most fertile agro soils in the world�.Yet the country�s unemployment rate among the 18-35 years has remained among the highest in the world since 1970. In tandem with this, the country�s infrastructure is among the least developed in the world.
Having benchmarked the country�s development and economic growth with other developed and emerging economies one realized that the relative underdevelopment is mainly due to amongst others our inability to use simple supply chain principles to harness the enormous wealth at the country�s disposal. Since the late nineties one has had the opportunity to have both formal and informal discussions with our politicians and decision makers.
In most cases they are proud to pontificate about countries like Singapore Malaysia, USA, Chain India and even more recently South Africa�.and how they are able to add value to imported commodities, plus move goods from various points of production to points of need within and outside their respective countries. Yet when it comes to Ghana it seems they are content to export the country�s raw materials to other countries for processing and then import it back at premium to sell locally in the regional market!
Supply chain management and Ghana�s Gateway Initiative Ghana�s gateway initiative in theory is a resplendent model if supported by the right modus operandi. Successive governments have pontificated about the status of the country as the potential gateway into the sub region. Yet when one looks at the policies of government to date, no where has one seen any concrete long term plans to harness the potential vantage position of Ghana as a sub regional country. As a country that is supposedly the gateway into the sub region aero logistics connections is not only poor but among the most expensive in the world!!
What puzzles ordinary citizens like myself is why our leaders continue to accept that value added to our resources can only take place outside Ghana��..!!! The time has come for our leaders to rather look at Ghana as a sub regional workshop where companies with interest in marketing their products to 250 million regional inhabitants will use the country as it decoupling point.
Could Ghana have benefited more from Cocoa with a coherent supply chain strategy?
Like most economies, Ghana could have easily used cocoa to sustainably transform the economy if there was a strategic supply chain blue print. More recently one has been hearing about Cocoa Board ambitions to produce 1 million tons per annum. What difference will it make to graduate students looking for a job if most of the beans are going to end up in Europe where value adding will take place?�
Would Ghana benefit from the OIL?
There seem to be a propensity for our leaders to pontificate that the recently discovered oil is the panacea for all Ghana�s economic woes. The sad reality is that jobs are not created from the crude oil. Rather it is from the supply chain services that are associated with crude oil�.!
Govt must have a supply chain and beneficiation strategy for each of Ghana�s major commodities
Through out history countries that depend on the exportation of raw commodities have relatively failed to achieve major long term socio-economic growth. The shortism in economic policies coupled with governments� lack of strategic thought vis-�-vis supply chain management and local beneficiation continue to be an impediment for socio- economic growth. The time has come for our elected leaders to be more strategic and start thinking about:
1. How Ghana can use supply chain management as a weapon for competitive advantage
2. Positioning Ghana as sub regional workshop and decoupling point
3. Branding Ghana as a source of quality products, i.e. proudly Ghanaian, 4. Empower Ghanaians through supply chain related services
5. Creating real and much needed jobs through local beneficiation of minerals and agro commodities
6. Laying a solid socio-economic foundation for future generations
7. Thinking seriously about harnessing the potential of the gateway initiative�..
In so doing we will be laying a solid foundation for future generations. After all, Ghana�s resources do not belong to the current generation��Rather we are just custodians (irrespective of local tribe or party affiliation) collectively tasked to harness these resources to build a better and sustainable socio-economic future for the next generation!
Dr. Douglas Boateng is the Founder, President and CEO of PanAvest International a 5PSCM niche business advisory, education, training, coaching and mentoring company. Dr Boateng�s goal is to assist companies to profitably extend their market reach through the application of long term innovative, Business Development Logistics and Supply Chain Management solutions. Dr Boateng is a FELLOW of the (a) Institute of Directors-UK & Southern Africa (b) Chartered Management Institute -UK (c) Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport-UK and the (d) Institute of Operations Management-UK
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