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The problems of industrialization in Ghana

Definition of industrialization

Industrialization can be defined as the system by which an economy which hitherto produced basic agricultural goods, now manufactures those same goods with the use of machines instead of manual labour and assembly plants instead of skilled artisans.  

Skilled labour
One of the problems confronting industrialization in Ghana is the absence of enough skilled labour to appropriately man the industry. There are few well trained artisans, engineers and the like to operate the sophisticated industrial machines.

Supply of raw materials
Another basic problem facing industrialization in Ghana is the low supply of raw materials to feed the factories. In some cases, the industrial plants are there but because there are no raw materials to feed them, the machines just stay idle at the mercy of the weather till they get damaged. Most of the factories established by the Kwame Nkrumah regime have collapsed due to the non-availability of raw materials. The Pawlugu tomato factory has been revived many times but each time it just collapses in the absence of tomatoes to feed the machines.

Infrastructural facilities
There is also the problem of lack of enough infrastructural facilities such us good roads, railways, constant supply of water and electricity etc. The industrial factories need electricity to run 24 hours a day. They need a constant supply of water, especially, those of them which depend on it. The factories need a good road network to be able to transport their raw materials and finished goods efficiently. However, these have not been readily available in Ghana.

Capital to invest
Another problem is the absence of capital to make the initial investment and to re-inject into the business in order to expand. The banks may be willing to help but their interest rates are over the roof so entrepreneurs are not attracted to that option. Even where they are, some are not able to provide the collateral that the banks may demand. In the end, their dreams remain in their hearts.

Attitude of Ghanaian entrepreneurs
In Ghana, many entrepreneurs are allergic to risk. They do not want to take risks unless they can see their way clearly which is not always possible from the onset. Most Ghanaian entrepreneurs are interested in immediate profits so they prefer to enter into buying and selling.

Demand for industrial goods in Ghana
In Ghana, majority of the people are poor and therefore mostly unable to afford the manufactured goods. Most factories therefore are producing below their installed capacity. Cocoa is grown in Ghana and there is a well known chocolate brand produced in Ghana but majority of the Ghanaians do not patronize the chocolates because they think it is expensive.

1. What are some of the problems confronting industrialization in Ghana?

2. Highlight six problems of industrialization in your country.

3. a. What is industrialization?
    b. Give five reasons why Ghana is unable to industrialize.

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