'The aim of all colonial governments in Africa and elsewhere has been the struggle for raw materials; and not only this but the colonies have become the dumping ground, and colonial peoples the false recipients, of manufactured goods of the industrialists and capitalists of Great Britain, France, Belgium and other colonial powers who turn to the dependent territories which feed their industrial plants. This is colonialism in a nutshell.' Nkrumah(1947)
Issues surrounding the management of Ghana's resources were awash in the media in the past week. Unsurprisingly, the former political imperialists now economic imperialists were sorely involved.
On the 23rd of April, 2019, President Akufo-Addo launched the 'planting for export and rural development' programme. This initiative according to government is to diversify - to give variety to - the country's tree crop exports and establish a strong material base for industrialisation. Under the programme, nine tree crops are going to be grown across the country depending on the ecology of an area. They include cashew, mango, rubber, coffee, coconut, shea, citrus, cotton and palm oil. The idea in itself must be applauded as it will reduce the deficit in unemployment and augment the economy among other things 'if' it is implemented as narrated.
Scrupulously checking what has been said about the initiative, a very significant but overlooked aspect of the narrative is the positioning of 'export of tree crops' before feeding our own industrialisation needs. Maybe, we should remind someone that the KOMENDA SUGAR FACTORY has never produced a cube of sugar because we built a factory without making adequate provisions for arguably the most important part of the factory - raw materials.
Clearly, I'm not the only one who found this programme visionary but the buzzards didn't even wait for the bull to be slaughtered.
According to last Friday's edition of the Daily Graphic, it took 'barely four hours after the president had launched the PERD programme' for the Head of the European Union ( EU) to Ghana to 'seek further clarification'. Only if this sought of pining is seen in other areas of the development of the African continent. Nkrumah was emphatic when he wrote, 'the basis of colonial territorial dependence is economic.'
This very salient point was announced even before our first president was born. Jules Ferry the Premier of France in 1885, defending the French colonial policy, said: 'The nations of Europe desire colonies for the following three purposes: (i) in order that they may have access to the raw materials of the colonies; (ii) in order to have markets for sale of the manufactured goods of the home country;and (iii) as a field for the investment of surplus capital.' (Nkrumah, 1947)
This, they have achieved! I wonder what will happen to their industries without our raw materials.
That is why the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will have the effrontery to tell us to reduce the meagre ¢476.00 our cocoa farmers receive per bag, 'to reflect changes in international cocoa prices'. Only if we will be true to ourselves as a country and stop using our cocoa as a mere collateral for loans that build not and feed not the masses; we will not entertain an organisation with the unenviable reputation that, 'The single most consistent effect of the IMF seems to have is the redistribution of income away from workers'. (Vreeland, 2007) Why do we entertain them?
Also, prominently captured on most media platforms was the press conference by IMANI AFRICA. The meat of IMANI's concerns was that the government of Ghana must not neglect its duty to always seek the interest of the country first. Fortunately, John Peter Amewu had walked the same path his predecessor Boakye Agyarko, the former Energy minister trod on. This was to deny AKER ENERGY, a Norwegian oil company from overriding their interest on us, regardless of our laws, to get more than they deserve from our oil field.
Again Nkrumah was explicit, 'Imperialism knows no law beyond its own interests.'
What makes the nefarious intentions of the West more sickening is the retaining of the best human resources among us in their countries. If we are what they portray us to be why do they make an alumnus of the University of Cape Coast, the '15th president of Millersville University of Pensylvania', in the USA. It is because he has refined the raw material in him into something they deem retainable.
That is clearly no mean feat by Dr Daniel A. Wubah but only if our governments will make it their obligation to not just enforce our laws but adhere to them such brains will clearly run back to prop our country up. Albeit some are sacrificing for the advancement of our country. Understandably, few will refuse to relish in a society that works!
It is clear that if Ghana and the African continent embark on an unrelenting industrialisation agenda, our raw materials will be kept where they belong and the power of the economic imperialists will tremendously wane.
But conflict theorists also propose some cogent thoughts that indicate that 'individuals and groups that benefit from a particular structure of society tend to work to maintain those structures so as to retain and enhance their power'.