Many since independence believed that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana achieved remarkable successes and his achievements are unparallel.
It is a fact that during the reign of President Nkrumah, major development projects took place in the country when factories were built by the first post-colonial government.
It is also significant to note that poor economic management also helped to accelerate the rate of the deterioration of the Ghanaian economy under President Nkrumah and political considerations overrode the fundamentals of economic planning.
Nkrumah’s intention was to make Ghana an industrialized country in order to break away from relying too much on imports, therefore, he established factories but 50 years on, all the factories have collapsed due to poor management by successive governments.
Ghanaians have called on the government to revamp all defunct factories built by Dr. Nkrumah which will create more jobs for the youth and contribute to the government’s ‘Ghana beyond aid’ agenda and also complement the One District, One Factory policy.
Pulse.com.gh takes a look at some of the factories that had the potential of boosting the economy when revamped to production.
- Zuarungu meat factory
The GIHOC Zuarungu Meat Product company Limited in Dulugu, with its raw materials coming from neighbouring Burkina Faso, Mali, and other countries, started large production in 1965 with over one thousand canned beef produced each day but was closed down in 1995 due to mismanagement.
The factory used to churn out about one thousand canned beef per day.
Hundreds of jobs were created both directly and indirectly and thus served as a source of livelihood to the people.
The meat factory however grounded to halt in the year 1995 due to what some people call mismanagement.
- Pwalugu tomato factory
Built by Nkrumah decades ago, the Pwalugu tomato factory provided a ready market for tomato farmers and also many indirect jobs for the people of the Upper East Region.
The factory could not survive due to bad management and lack of raw materials, in this case, fresh tomatoes from farmers in the northern part of the country to run the factory.
Though Ghana is currently the second-largest consumer of tomato paste in per capita terms, the paste is mostly imported.
Successive governments have tried to revive the only tomato factory in Ghana but to no avail. However, the country can now boast of a new tomato processing factory at Tema which will serve the local market and feed the neigbouring West and Central African countries too.
Even though the factory is privately owned by Conserveria Africana Ghana Limited, the country can still take pride in having a new tomato processing factory.
- Bolgatanga Rice Mills
The rice mills which were one time the “Rice City”, now cannot boast of a single supermarket where one can confidently go and buy locally produced rice.
All its markets, streets and supermarkets are flooded with all kinds of imported rice from America, China, Brazil, Vietnam, and Thailand.
Some rice farmers in the Upper East Region were contemplating stopping the cultivation of rice on a large scale, as they found it difficult to get ‘ready market’ for their produce.
When a group of officials toured some of the factories that had been established in the country, they found the structures of Rice Mills deserted and dilapidated.
The factory had been closed down in the 1990s and was handed over to a private operator who used it as a storage space.
- Kumasi shoe factory
The Kumasi Shoe Factory is on the verge of collapse.
Formerly called the Ghana Industrial Holding (GIHOC) Footwear Company Limited, the now Defence Industries Holding Company Limited (DIHOC) Footwear Division Limited, producing shoes for the uniformed security agencies in the country may shut down over the refusal of the security agencies, particularly the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), to patronise its products (boots and shoes).
Established in 1960, the shoe factory produced footwear and rubber sheets under an agreement signed by Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, and Czechoslovakia in 1961, collapsed in the late 1970s.
It has been resuscitated, following a joint partnership between a Czech Republic-based company, Knights a.s., acting through its subsidiary, Knight Ghana Limited, and the Defence Industries Holding Company Limited (DIHOC), owned by the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
DIHOC Footwear now produces safety boots and shoes for private security and manufacturing companies, as well as sandals for schools.
Currently, the factory is producing about eight percent of its installed capacity of 700,000 pairs of security boots per annum.
- Tarkwa Bonsa factory
The Bonsa factory established by Dr. Nkrumah and strategically sited at Bonsa in Tarkwa, which is near the large rubber plantations where the requisite raw material could easily be tapped to feed the factory.
Bonsa Tyre Factory suffered a similar fate as that of the Aboso Glass Factory in the Western region.
The company, which was used to manufacture the popular firestone wheel tyres, has also collapsed with the government apparently showing no concern.