One of several flagship programs introduced by the Akufo-Addo government; the One-District-One-Factory policy, is unrealistic and will lead to a complete waste of resources that otherwise could be channeled into improving other areas that will reflect positively on the economy.
A more realistic approach; One-Factory-One-Region, which is more inclined to yielding actual results should be government’s focus, this is the posturing of Economic Historian and Fellow of Kings College at the University of Cambridge in UK, Professor Gareth Austin.
Speaking at a public lecture held by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) on the state of Ghana’s economy 60 years after independence, Prof. Austin made reference to the fact that countries even developed states worldwide throughout their development processes did not implore such a program as an interventive measure to increase industrialization in their various countries.
“On one policy, I think that is overdoing it a little bit in the sense that as an economic historian, I have to say that where there has been industrialization up to now, it’s never been the whole country industrializing at once. Large parts of Britain, Germany, the United States, China, when they industrialized did not have a factory in every district….you have clustering of factories in certain areas partly because it is cheap for the factories to be relatively close to each other”, he said.
Prof. Austin indicated that government’s pursuance of the One-District-One-Factory policy in order to portray their commitment to fulfilling their promises will result in dire consequences on the country’s economy. Rather, he said, the focus should be on creating a factory in every region which will be more sustainable and yet still serve the purpose of stimulating industrialization in the country.
“I think that if you have a political commitment that you must make sure there is a factory in every district, you will end up having to subsidize some of those factories and that will be a waste from the perspective of pursuing industrialization which is a difficult objective, a necessary objective, one for which it is important not to waste resources along the way but to keep sharply focused on the objective of industrialization”.
“I will say it is much easier to deliver a factory or more than one factory in every region, that’s a much more, in economic terms, that could be more viable than in every district”, he said.