Dr. Glenn Gyimah, a Ghana-China analyst, believes the shortage and neglect of skilled labour has resulted in the Chinese takeover of local jobs and has slowed the growth of Ghana’s manufacturing sector.
In an interview with Goldstreet Business at the Citi Business Forum in Accra, Dr. Gyimah said the Government of Ghana has not adequately used the provision of skilled labour to benefit from its relationship with China.
With the current daily minimum wage in Ghana standing at GHS9.68, he said the bottlenecks in the supply of skilled labour over a long period, has hampered the ability to find skilled labour across manufacturing industries.
‘’There is a lot that we can get out of China and one of their strategies was to make sure that China was a developed state to have 10 economic zones for development, yet we barley have any economic zones here,’’ he lamented.
He explained that setting up economic zones for development must seek to train Ghanaians living here and in China to tap into the knowledge and potential that it offers.
Gyimah cautioned, ‘’but when they come back to Ghana, we do not even see their value; we do not even assemble them to share their experiences and knowledge on how we can develop our land and that is troubling to our national development.’’
‘’When engaging with foreigners, we don’t take things like our expertise and our environment into consideration,’’ he added.
He advised that prioritizing the provision of skilled labour and innovation will enhance inevitably the growth of the bauxite and aluminum industry.
President Akufo-Addo during his five-day trip to China announced a number of deals between Ghana and China, including a US$2 billion bauxite deal that is expected to add to the country’s debt stock.
He has however defended his government’s move and said; “what we did in China is to sign a two billion dollar agreement to build our infrastructure with bauxite adding, it is a barter arrangement which means we will export refined bauxite to China without it being added to our debt stock.’’
China’s Sinohydro Group Limited is expected to provide US$2 billion of infrastructure; including roads, bridges, interchanges, hospitals, housing, rural electrification, in exchange for Ghana’s refined bauxite.
By Mawuli Y. Ahorlumegah