Mr Joseph Cudjoe, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Effia in the Western Region, has said there is the need for the country to change the existing paradigm of exporting raw materials to becoming a resource processing hub.
He said over the years the country had been dependent on revenues from its export base and this has not helped the economy hence, the need to add value to the resources before exporting them. The move, he said, would create jobs for the youth, reduce unemployment and make the economy more resilient to absorb any external economic recession.
Mr Cudjoe said this during a regional consultative forum held at Takoradi, on the 40-year national development plan organized by the National Development Planning Commission. He said the colonial masters embarked on exploitative development paradigm by constructing roads to resource rich areas so that they could convey the raw materials to the sea port for export and since then successive governments have continued that trend.
He said there was the need to shift from that system of development by setting up refineries to process raw materials for export in order to earn more foreign exchange. Mrs Eva Lokko, who represented the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), said all successive governments must implement the development plan to the fullest and ensure that corruption is eradicated from the system. She urged government to empower the local industries so that they could compete favourably in the global economy.
Mr Kofi Oti Frimpong, Headmaster of Sekondi School for the Deaf, appealed to the implementers of the development plan to consider the plights of Persons with Disability (PWDs), saying “PWDs needs have been relegated to the background for a long time”.