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Public Lecture: South East Asian Industrial Policies and Their Implications for Ghana and Africa

IMANI Center for Policy and Education in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan in Ghana is inviting you to a public lecture on the theme: “Setting the Right Stage for Industrialization: Customizing Asian Experience for Ghana and Africa.”

In the 1950s and 1960s, governments of many countries in Africa and Latin America erected trade barriers. The plan was to enable the industries of their countries to grow, “protected” from outside competition. What actually happened was the opposite. Although the industries in these “protected” countries grew for a short period, the lack of competition meant that their industries became inefficient and fell behind the rest of the world. Also, because imports were very expensive or even unavailable, their costs of production rose as they were stuck using old technologies. Soon these “protected” industries were producing goods that few people wanted, exports fell and, in many cases, the industries – usually run by friends of the president- had to be subsidised by the state in order to keep them afloat.

Governments paid for these subsidies by taxing farmers (either directly or by forcing farmers to sell to marketing boards) and by borrowing – one of the reasons why so many African and Latin American countries had such large debts.

Latin America has since made some progress. In many Latin American countries, industrialisation has primarily been anchored on the tenets of free enterprise with minimal government intervention. In Africa, from the days of ‘African Renaissance’ to ‘Africa Rising’ campaigns sponsored and publicised by leaders from the year 2000, industrialisation has been touted yet again as the enabler of growth and insurance against poverty.

More important, many African elites and citizens have all pointed to the industrial revolution in Asia as a befitting model to follow.

As part of efforts to achieve a value-added industrial economy, the current administration recently launched the One District- One Factory (1D1F) project, whose effective implementation is expected to “birth” a viable economic venture in each administrative district in Ghana. Many have questioned the approach and its likelihood to achieve the set target within the stated time frame, the sustainability of the project beyond the current administration and its role in the entire process.


  • Exactly what did the Asians do to earn the enviable reference?
  • How much of Asian political, economic and cultural norms played a role in their story?
  • What was the quality of human capital required?
  • Did the Asians encourage foreign direct investment or was it all domestic investment?
  • Pragmatism, honesty and meritocracy- how much were these soft issues at play in the Asian miracle?


These and many questions we hope will be addressed in the lecture by Professor Motohiro Kurokawa, a Professor at Takasaki City University of Economics in Japan.

Details of the event are as follows:

Venue: Alisa Hotel, North Ridge
Date: Friday, 1st March 2019
Time: 9:00am with a reception to follow.


We trust you will honor this invitation. Kindly confirm your participation early by emailing info@imanighana.org or calling our hotline 0554309966.


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