REFERENCE IS made to Edward Ojulu’s article, “Growth in industrial output is good news” (The New Times, February 15).
That’s true, “The future for Africa is not in peasant farming, but in manufacturing”. Provided, however, you really mean, as per your examples of banana, potatoes, and milk..., a locally inspired and oriented manufacturing process. Otherwise Mr. Edward Ojulu, and many other “modernising” economists, would be perpetuating the “westernising” chimera.
You are right also to say that manufacturing is initiated and sustained by goodwill and technology. Yes, in Africa, there is plenty of goodwill, both at leadership and grassroots levels.
It is however odd to think that in Africa we’ll eternally rely on technology borrowed from abroad. Indigenous and endogenous technology is still lacking in Africa. There, in my view, is where we ought to be concentrating first our efforts and resources: to research and develop our own science and technology, which will spawn and sustain our really African manufacturing process and the positive outcomes we all hope for.
An alienating, foreign initiated and foreign oriented and conditioned industrial output growth isn’t good news for Africa at all. Unless we are bound to remain a continent of eternal suppliers of cheap resources!
François-Xavier Nziyonsenga, Rwanda