Photo source: gbcghana.com
“Na ‘Ghana made’ deɛ, meredeyɛ de3n?” This statement comes out of almost 90% of Ghanaian buyers, when they encounter locally made goods.
That is the level of ‘interest’ the Ghanaian in the products made by our local industries. I wouldn’t classify it as distaste but the Ghanaian has a strong aversion to ‘Ghana made’. This feeling is entrenched as any ‘law’ could be. Quite unfortunately too, it is being passed on to next generations.
So how do we as a nation move on from this state? How do we encourage the Ghanaian to patronize our ‘ homemade’ products?
Public education and re-education. The people of Ghana are in need of a consistent and massive economic education. By utilizing the various social media platforms, the television networks, the radio stations, the Ghanaian should be informed, re-informed on why it is essential to buy our own manufactured products. The patronage of locally made goods would help to decrease the alarming speed on which exchange rate of the cedi is rising, thereby reducing the chances of inflation also.
The Ghanaian should be informed that, by patronizing our own goods, we would be creating the greener pastures we seek, in our country. Buying Ghanaian manufactured goods can take a huge step in reducing the high unemployment situation in the country. Ghanaian have a love for ‘sermons’, so it should be given to them as a form of education, regarding this, on platforms accessible to them, and done consistently. I believe this will gradually the dormant love in us, towards locally made products.
Moderate Pricing. To most Ghanaians, locally made goods are more expensive as compared to the foreign goods on the market. This is a competition Ghanaian producer lose every time. To ensure that, the Ghanaian develops more interest in patronizing, producers should also make sure, pricing of their goods is not too much over the bar. This cannot happen if local industries are heaped with taxes. The government must reduce the tax rate for Ghanaian industries and provide them with incentives like low interest rates on loans. By doing this, industries will have enough room to breathe and not charge exorbitant prices to meet profit. The lower or moderate the price of local goods, the easier Ghanaians would be encouraged to buy.
If you are reading this, then u might have heard this statement, at least once, ” ‘Ghana made’ deɛ boa me nansa bi”. Implying that Ghanaian made products last just for three days. To create any form of love in Ghanaians for locally manufactured goods. Then producers should work on quality. The durability of most Ghanaian products discourages interest and patronage. The few which are of good quality have all been categorized under the same grade by Ghanaians, ‘Ghana made’. Producers in Ghana are also known to be inconsistent. You buy a Ghanaian product today, buy it again in two years’ time and the quality instead of improving would have fallen. Basically, a quality product is more likely to attract more interest and patronage from Ghanaians.
Have you ever wondered why the Chinese market keeps getting bigger and bigger in Ghana? Well, beside the price, it is the packaging! Good packaging attracts Ghanaians. Unfortunately, some of our locally manufactured products are not attractive at all. Packaging has gotten to do with the designs as well. You only need to see plastic bowls and cups sold in the market and u will immediately recognize the ones made in Ghana. No style. To me, nice and attractive product packaging will be motivation enough for Ghanaians.
The government must also enact new legislation that will see to reducing the rate at which foreign goods enter into our country. You look around and it looks like we import almost everything in Ghana. From razor blades to nail polish, almost everything. Even products that we can and actually manufacture in our local industries. Most of these goods, because of their inferior quality are comparably cheaper, making Ghanaian fall in love with them.
When proper laws are enacted to check this, the Ghanaian market will gradually be rid of too many foreign goods, and the Ghanaian will be left with most local goods to choose from.
Let’s buy from Ghana and let’s buy for Ghana.