President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta did not understand the Guggisberg economy they talked about that they were going to move the Ghanaian economy away from, an economist Mr Kwame Pianim has said.
It is recalled that Mr Akufo-Addo, soon after he became President in 2017, said he was rolling full steam ahead with plans of building a modern Ghanaian economy which was not overly dependent on the export of raw materials.
The President described the country’s over reliance on gold and cocoa as reminiscent of the Guggisberg economy and subsequently launched several initiatives intended to turn the economy around.
A Guggisberg economy is credited to the economic philosophy of Sir Gordon Guggisberg, the Governor of the Gold Coast between 1911 and 1919 which emphasized the export of raw materials to Great Britain. Unfortunately this phenomenon has persisted for decades since its creation even after the Gold Coast assumed the name Ghana post- independence.
President Akufo-Addo is in a hurry to change the status quo with the introduction of the One District One Factory, the Planting for Food and Jobs and the National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Plan are some of the initiatives from the Presidency which are meant to refocus Ghana’s economic development.
“We are determined to build a new Ghanaian civilization, a Ghana beyond Aid. It is a Ghana where we aim to be masters of our own destiny, where we marshal our own resources for the future, breaking the shackles of the ‘Guggisberg’ colonial economy of a producer of raw materials, and a mind-set of dependency, bailouts and extraction.
“It is an economy where we look past commodities to position ourselves in the global marketplace at the high end of the value chain. It is a country where we focus on trade, not aid, a hand-up, not a handout. Said the President of the Republic.
Speaking on recent happenings in the Ghanaian economy, Mr Kwame Pianim told TV3’s Paa Kwasi Asare in an interview on Wednesday January 11 that “It saddens me when I see Ken Ofori-Atta [and President Akufo-Addo] sit on television pontificating. We are importing so many billions in rice, so many billions in poultry.
“Ofori-Atta has been Minister for six years, if three years ago he had put money into agriculture, he had put money into the 1D1F, would he be talking like these? We could have said every importer of poultry, if you import a hundred you should buy 10 locally, next year you have to buy 20, the 3rd year 30, these GUTA people would have invested in the poultry and get the poultry to be able to distribute domestically.
“The first time Ofori-Atta started, he said he was going to transform this economy from the Guggisberg economy to a new economy, he did not even understand what the Guggisburg economy was.
“In the Guggisberg economy, he had a plan for cocoa, distribute cocoa, built roads into the villages, where there was timber he built the roads, then he built railways, he built the ports, he built Achimota school, built Legon infrastructure, by the time we got independence we had plenty of reserves.
“So ken, if the moneys he borrowed , if he was running a Guggisberg economy we could have seen that cash flow coming out from the moneys he was borrowing so that we can be able to repay. All the time he was borrowing recklessly, at the back of his mind was that he was not going to pay.”