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Change Structure Of Economy — Prof. Frimpong-Boateng   
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Ghana's economy must be changed from one that is dependent on the export of raw materials to one that is dependent on science and technology, a former presidential aspirant of New Patriotic Party (NPP), Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, has said.

“We cannot develop this country when we continue to rely on the export of raw materials for our foreign exchange. We need to change the structure of the economy,” he said.
Raw materials

In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the heart surgeon and former Chief Executive (CEO) of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, noted that raw materials needed to be transformed and improved rather than being left in their raw state.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said after harvesting plantain, for instance, the stem (which is fibre) was left to rot. He asked: “Can’t we task a technical school to look at the plantain stem, how they can develop the fibre to produce maybe a doormat or something to insulate our rooms or studios and so on?”

He stated that although some women used plantain coverings and cocoa husks for the manufacturing of soap, there was the need to improve upon such initiative.

Technical schools or the biochemical department of a university, he said, could link up with the manufacturers of the soap to make it better.

The former New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential aspirant also stated that sodium hydroxide (commonly termed caustic soda) and ethanol (akpeteshie) could be produced locally alongside vegetable oil for the production of biodisel.

“When I talk about biodiesel production, for instance, this is a thing you need vegetable oil, methanol and sodium hydroxide for. So far, we import all these things. But we can produce sodium hydroxide in Ghana if you have salt, cocoa husks and plantain leaves,” he said
Industrial grade

“So if you look at it we have the basic raw materials with us except that we have to bring it to a form, industrial grade that can be used to produce some of these things,” he said.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng also cited almond oil, one of the most expensive oils in the market, and indicated that young Ghanaians could be encouraged to go into almond plantations.

“Once there are people who can manufacture the machines to crack the almonds and extract the oils, employment opportunities will be given to a lot of people. There are a lot of things around us we can use to develop this nation and it is up to us to find out how we can help our people.

“If we think we all can go to universities and come and get employment in government agencies, it is not going to happen,” Prof. Frimpong Boateng stated.

The former Korle Bu CEO, among other things, charged Ghanaians to introspect, look at their environment and create jobs for themselves.

On the issue of corruption, he said the government needed to find ways of tackling the problem in view of its negative effect on the country.
Source: Daily Graphic

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