Former Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Ocquaye, has called for the restructuring of Ghana’s economy to position it to be self-reliant.
Speaking at the launch of the 60th anniversary celebration of the Department of Political Science at the University of Ghana on Friday, July 22, Professor Mike Ocquaye lamented Ghana’s overreliance on imports.
He wondered if the population would survive if a much worse pandemic than COVID-19 and a bigger war than the ongoing one between Russia and Ukraine were to occur and cut supplies of goods.
Prescribing solutions to forestall such an occurrence, Professor Mike Ocquaye indicated that country ought to start looking internally to produce its own food.
“An economy which is over 70% import-dependent is no economy. The colonial relationship was essentially one of the producers of raw materials vis-à-vis producers of finished products being dumped on us. How has this changed? We all know that the answer has not changed.
“If a global pandemic worse than Covid should arise or a global war bigger than Ukraine arises and no ship comes into our ports for over one year or two, and for that matter the sugar, flour, rice, indomie, cooking oil etc. do not enter our nation anymore shall we merely die? It is a question worthy to answer.
“Our economy should be restructured so that we first and foremost feed ourselves with our own. If this is impossible, then we don’t deserve to exist as a nation so that our whole nationhood must be questioned by our present intellectuals. But is it possible just to fold our arms? We need to put our arms together and produce to eat” he said.
Ghana is currently experiencing an economic downturn leading to increase in the general cost of living and fuel price hikes.
The prevailing challenges has compelled the government to initiate contacts with the International Monetary Fund for an economic rescue programme.
The government has partly blamed the situation on the ravages of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war.