“There are only two ways of development open to an independent African state. Either it must remain under imperialist domination via capitalism and neo-colonialism or it must pursue a socialist path by adopting the principles of scientific socialism” Kwame Nkrumah.
What His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Akufo Addo must know is that Dr. Kwame Nkrumah did not make any industrial mistakes, rather he made industrial successes which none after him so far have marched. And so the recent remarks by the President that “l won’t repeat Nkrumah’s industrial mistakes” was a statement by a rookie, which is far from the truth, just as Nana Addo is far from achieving a quarter of Nkrumah’s successes. His rookie statement does not fit the objective reality Nkrumah left behind.
According to Nana Addo Dr. Nkrumah had a great vison for industrializing Ghana, but Nkrumah’s decision to make most of the enterprises built under his tenure state-owned failed to the deliver the economic dividends for which they were set up.
In that statement, Nana Addo said “Ghana’s first industrial surge was recorded in the 1960s, directly after our independence, Dr. Nkrumah initiated the establishment of more than 300 state-owned enterprises to operate in all sectors of economic activity.” The President added, that his administration could not afford to repeat the same mistakes of the Nkrumah regime, and has therefore decided that the private sector rather than the state should own the nation’s enterprises.
What Nkrumah knew but Nana Addo doesn’t know is that all the developed industrialized countries without exception, used the state sector and not the private sector to develop and industrialize, be it a capitalist or socialist nation. After industrializing they advocate “private sector as engine of growth” in order to mislead and prevent newly developing nations from industrializing. This is why Dr. Nkrumah, the master professional politician and political economist warned newly independent African nations in his book “Class Struggle in Africa” (page 84), “there are only two ways of development open to an Independent Africa State. Either it must remain under imperialist domination via capitalism and neo-colonialism; or it must pursue a socialist path by adopting the principles of scientific socialism.” Nkrumah chose the correct path, the socialist path lead by the state and built more than 400 state-owned enterprises in all sectors of development.
In the history of Ghana’s Presidency, only Dr. Nkrumah used a socialist planned economy to set the stage for Ghana’s modernization and industrialization. And the evidence of his successes are all around us. From the skies to underground mining, he was there. Among Nkrumah’s successes was the establishment of the following: Ghana Airways, Gliding school at Afiyena, Black Star Shipping Line, Ghana National Trading Corporation, Cocoa Marketing Board, Ghana Academy of Science, Ghana Medical School, Ghana Atomic Energy, to mention few.
When we take critical look at the “Fourth Republic” we can confidently say it legitimized neo-colonialism in Ghana by selling state-owned enterprises which were all built in the First Republic without building any, thus they saddled the people of Ghana with unemployment. In the First Republic, the people of Ghana had gainful employment, whether they were manual laborers, physically challenged, or secondary school or university graduates.
The question we should ask is why all the Presidents of the Fourth Republic combined, couldn’t build even a fraction of what was built in the First Republic? From President Rawlings NDC, (1992-2000), President Kufuor NPP, (2000 – 2008), Presidents Mills cum Mahama NDC, (2008 -2016) to presently, NPP President Nana Addo who is only one year in office (2017-2018). The answer is simple, they chose the wrong path, and had no viable development plans. With this kind of dismal record, we can say that if you stacked all the Presidents and Heads of State after Nkrumah, both military and civilian, on top of each other, they will not measure up to Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s knee.
Unfortunately for Ghanaians, Nana Addo has also chosen the wrong path without a development plan. In his recent rookie statement, he said that; “his administration could not afford to repeat the same mistakes of the Nkrumah regime, and has therefore decided that the private sector rather than the state should own the nation’s enterprises.”
Joking or Kidding
Is Nana Addo joking or kidding Ghanaians? We were in this country when former President J. A. Kufuor was elected President (2000-2008). The former president’s slogan was ‘private sector engine of growth’ and Nana Addo worked in that administration. It is amazing that Nana Addo with the same economic philosophy, did not help his Party to do better than Nkrumah. Were there no private investors during that time? Or Nana Addo just played selfish by not helping his Party. In fact, the only factory they tried to build was the Ayensu Starch Factory which failed miserably before their two terms in office ended.
In Nana Addo’s rookie statement, he concluded by saying, “it is our vision and drive that Ghanaian businesses first, develop themselves, and drive towards strategic partnership with foreign investors with the common goal, to create opportunities, wealth and jobs.” What Nana Addo must know is that, just as the slave master and the slave don’t have the same interest or goal, the same is true for the foreign investor and the local businessman.
No foreign investor is interested in developing any Africa country. Their main interest is to make super profit and take the profit to their home country. When a foreign investor partners with a local businessman, they see him as a junior partner and so the best they can do for the local businessman is to allow him to receive crumbs of investment profits, and commissions. At best they can make the local businessman a director of the foreign-owned firm. And this is the root cause of our graduate unemployment.
Nana Addo must not worry about repeating Nkrumah’s industrial mistakes because there were none. He must rather try hard not to repeat the mistakes of the Second, Third and Fourth Republics since they are responsible for the massive unemployment which is drowning the people of Ghana. Why the state-owned enterprises built by Nkrumah failed is another matter. Stay tuned for that matter.
Nii Ardey Otoo
Organizer: All African People’s Revolutionary Party