President John Dramani Mahama has asked local manufacturers to put premium on the packaging of their products.
Launching the made-in-Ghana goods campaign in Accra yesterday, the President said, “A lot of the time the quality of local products is good but the packaging is bad.”
He also asked manufacturing companies to pay attention to marketing, saying aggressive marketing was an area which also demanded investment.
He underscored the need for Ghanaians to change their attitude towards local goods and services, stressing that the need for an attitudinal change cut across all spheres of national life.
He told procurement officers to stop the practice of buying foreign products and rather place emphasis on local goods and services, as required by law.
The President said it was untenable for the country to use huge foreign exchange to import goods over which it had the comparative advantage to produce locally.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, who also spoke at the event, said patronising local products would boost the national currency.
He said the campaign would be carried deep into the future.
Attempts were made in the past to promote the consumption of made-in-Ghana goods and services but they were met with challenges, mainly due to the absence of a coordinated programme with a clearly defined mandate and objectives to deal with the issues, from the lack of raw materials for industry through to manufacturing and the end user.
To help address the challenges and give more fillip to the drive for locally produced goods, President Mahama, in his State of the Nation Address to Parliament in February 2014, called on Ghanaians once again to buy made-in-Ghana goods and services.
A few weeks later, during the 57th Independence Day parade on March 6, he restated his call for such patronage, following it up with an article published in the Daily Graphic of March 27, 2014 to demonstrate his commitment to the call on Ghanaians to use local goods and services.
In December 2014, President Mahama inaugurated a 17-member steering committee to campaign on made-in-Ghana goods and services.
Chaired by Dr Spio-Garbrah, the committee was tasked to design and implement strategies to run a nationwide campaign for locally made goods and services.
Rationale behind campaign
The latest campaign seeks to ensure the quality and durability of made-in-Ghana goods and services to change the negative perception among the citizens towards those products.
It also seeks to promote high standards and excellence in products and service offerings to increase patronage of locally produced goods.
Besides, the campaign aims at reducing dependence on imported products that can be produced locally.
A logo has been designed for the campaign activities to help identify goods and services that have been certified to bear the logo.