A PAN-Africanist, Dr Douglas Boateng, has stressed the need for the country, irrespective of which government is in power, to revisit the dream of Ghana's Founding President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, in building diversified public industrial conglomerates to catapult the nation’s industrial development.
Dr Boateng, who is the President of the Panavest Foundation of South Africa, said Dr Nkrumah’s vision, which centred on building diversified public industries for national development, was still relevant.
Speaking at a programme to launch the West Africa Institute for Supply Chain Leadership at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, he said the bane of the nation was the 1966 coup which jolted the country’s industrialisation process.
He explained that the small Ghanaian economy was fit for such industries and described Dr Nkrumah as a visionary leader whose vision for an industrialised nation led to the establishment of huge national industries, including the GIHOC Group.
He, however, expressed regret that almost all the industries established by the first President had been sold out by succeeding governments in the name of a “divestiture” which had little to show by way of result.
Dr Boateng called on Ghanaians not to delude themselves into thinking that the socio-economic transformation of the country was about the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), saying the issue of national development went far beyond the two political parties and, indeed, any other political party.
He indicated that no political party could put its ideas into fruition without the support of the people.
That, he said, was why Ghanaians should think about what they could do for their nation to rise, instead of putting so much emphasis on political parties.
He suggested that the term of the President be increased from four to seven years, so that a lot more time would be spent on the economy instead of politicking.
He explained that shorter presidential terms tended to work for developed economies and not economies that were struggling to come up.
He further said industrialisation, which the nation was yearning for, was a long-term initiative and so the four-year democratic cycle was not helping to translate the dream into reality.