Opinions Tue, 29 Nov 2011

Cable manufacturers must prove their worth

The GH¢ 80m contract awarded to the three local electrical cable manufacturers for the supply of electrical cables and conductors for the implementation of the Self-Help-Electrification Prpgramme (SHEP) is obviously exciting news to all indigenous companies. Reroy Cables Limited, Tropical Cable and Conductor and Nexans Kabelmetal should not be the only companies to celebrate this feat but all the other local manufacturers.

This positive signal means a lot and could become a huge motivation for our local manufacturers. There is no better way of investing in Ghanaians than through deliberate action to make the local content initiative a reality. The private sector can never become an engine of growth until the government backs it with well intended actions as it had done for the three cable manufacturers.

Admittedly, for Ghana to become a major exporter of power within the sub-region there is the need to build indigenous capacity to take advantage of opportunities within the power sector. It is therefore in the interest of the nation to make the local content agenda a reality as had happened with this GH¢ 80m contract. Local firms are ultimately and probably the most important drivers of economic incomes and growth in developing countries.

From indications, the local content policy initiative is not only directed towards the oil and gas industry but to other sectors of the economy. In Ghana, we have a number of entrepreneurs who have proven their worth and demonstrated that given the opportunity, they could perform satisfactorily. All that they needed was a deliberate action plan from the government to actively engage them.

Obviously foreign expertise and foreign capital cannot lead us to our economic emancipation. It is only Ghanaian businesses and entrepreneurs that can honestly move this country forward in the right direction as we all crave for.

With this gesture from the government, the onus now lies on Reroy Electrical Cables Limited, Nexans Kabelmetal and Tropical Cable and Conductor to prove their worth and justify the trust reposed in them. What they should be aware of is that, the fate of other local manufacturers in other areas of businesses would largely be dependent on them. These three companies must now prove that given the opportunity, our local companies could meet standards and targets.

I hope the three companies will not disappoint but rather serve as platform to justify greater involvement of other local companies in other national development initiatives.

Frank Agyemang

Columnist: Agyemang, Frank