‘Women, Children Key To Industrialization’

Prof. Douglas Boateng (second left) in a pose with other panelists after the summit

Leaders of African states have been urged to sensitize their women and children to patronize locally manufactured goods on the African continent.

The move is to help boost industrialization in Africa as well as help facilitate trade among African countries by increasing local consumption and reducing the quantity of foreign imported goods on the continent.

Procurement expert and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PANAVEST International and Partners, Professor Douglas Boateng, made the call at the maiden edition of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply Chain Ghana (CIPS-Ghana) annual Procurement and Supply Chain Summit on Tuesday in Accra.

The event, held at the National Theatre, convened policymakers and movers of the economy to brainstorm the current procurement environment to create a National Procurement Strategy that will facilitate the country’s sustained socio-economic development.

The day’s event was organized under the theme: ‘Industrialization, Procurement and Ghana’s long-term socio-economic development.’

The summit was used to discuss the key drivers and reasons for the seemingly slow progress in industrialization in Ghana and across Africa and highlighted the extricable link between procurement, industry and socio-economic development.

Women and the youth have the spending power and they can easily turn things round for Ghana and the continent, he said.

He argued that findings of  his five-year study in a number of African countries suggested that most African women and youths were spending more on foreign goods than products manufactured in their own countries.

He said the trend was having a negative impact on industrialization in African countries, calling for a paradigm shift.

According to Prof. Boateng, women and children should be especially educated on the need to buy local products.

“Our women and children are the drivers of industrialization,” he said.

“Unless you get the message to them that what they buy will either invest or divest in the children’s future, you will not fix the problem,” he said.

In an interview with BUSINESS GUIDE on the sidelines of the summit held at the National Theatre, Prof. Boateng said the African continent was “losing billions of dollars annually.

He said that the procurement systems in Ghana and across the sub-continent is overhauled to enable it contribute meaningfully to industrialization.

Meanwhile, Chairperson of CIPS Ghana, Stella Addo, in her welcome remarks at the summit said “good procurement and supply chain is a solution to Ghana’s problems and we must help government to fix it.”

The summit was attended by the CEO of Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), representatives from various learning institutions, government and journalists.

By Melvin Tarlue