‘Value addition to raw materials key to national development’
A draft 40-year Ghana Infrastructure Plan (GIP) prepared by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) will be meaningless unless the country makes a determined effort to add value to its natural resources, the Director of the Institute for Infrastructure Development, Mr Charles K. Boakye, has stated.
According to Mr Boakye, who was part of the team that drafted the plan, the team’s assessment of the best financing strategies to implement the plan had shown that the country had all the basic materials to build its infrastructure, but required critical value addition to transform them into useful products.
He said money would be the least determining factor for the realisation of the country’s long-term infrastructure goals, if it put an end to the heavy exportation of its raw materials for the development of other countries.
“We should not allow money to hold us hostage. We have the mineral wealth, and, therefore, we can achieve the long-term infrastructure we aspire.
But until we focus on adding value to these resources, we are not going to get there.
“We have limestone for cement, oil for bitumen, gas for plastics, iron for steel, aluminium for bauxite, timber for furniture and other abundant resources, all of which can be processed locally to build our infrastructure,” he stated.
Mr Boakye was making a presentation on the GIP at the second National Development Forum organised by the NDPC in Accra last Thursday.
The forum, on the theme: “Modernising Infrastructure for Accelerated Development” was to inform participants and the general public on the GIP and also galvanise support for its implementation.
The GIP is a companion document of the long-term national development plan and provides the physical expression of the social and economic aspirations outlined in the long-term plan.
The objective of the GIP is to chart a new vision and strategic direction for Ghana’s infrastructure in a coordinated and integrated manner, and develop a financing plan for implementation to attain a high-income status within 40 years.
The plan covers energy, transport water, and Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure, human settlements and housing, social, civic and commercial Infrastructure, human resource and skills planning, among other sectors.
Under energy, Mr Boakye stated that the country’s total power installed is targeted to increase from 3,800MW as of 2018 to 50,168 MW by 2050, with energy generation of 297,200 GWh.
The road network, he said, would be expanded from 72,000 km as of 2017 to 253,000 km by 2050, and the length of paved roads would increase from 16,000 km to 177,000 km during the same period.
On Aviation, he said new regional airports would be developed and existing airports upgraded to facilitate trade and tourism.
“The railway system will be modernised.
There will be investment infrastructure over the next 30 years to deliver almost 4,007 km of standard gauge railway lines and additional lines for the sub-urban networks in major cities, including, Accra, Kumasi, Tamale and Sekondi-Takoradi,” he added.