Michael Kottoh - Managing Partner, Konfidants
Managing Partner of Konfidants, an international advisory firm, Michael Kottoh, has emphasized the need for Ghanaian manufacturing companies to exploit opportunities presented by COVID-19, which has affected the global supply chain of essential items.
According to him, growing the demand for locally produced goods will require that businesses adjust their models to suit the changing times. Countries that rely heavily on China and other developed economies for their supplies have had to bear the effect of a slowdown in economic activities in Asian and European economies. The situation has compelled most of these countries to become self-reliant.
Speaking at a business summit on Monday, June 1, 2020, Mr. Kottoh said he hopes Ghana will exploit the opportunity to expand its supplies to other countries within the West African sub-region. Mr. Kottoh was speaking on the topic: “The Temporary Window, Speed and the Old Normal – Opportunities and Transformation in the age of COVID”.
“Everywhere in the world, it’s incredible. Experts everywhere in the industry and government have come to a new consensus that it is dangerous to be over-reliant on distant supply chains such that when there is a national crisis, you can’t respond. Therefore as a matter of whether you call it national security or national self-reliance, there is an argument for localizing as much of your supply chains as possible, especially around certain categories of sensitive goods.”
“It can be regionalising and localizing, so you think about bringing it closer to you. Certainly, China cannot remain the factory of the world. It shouldn’t be so. There is a disruption in this dominant logic that has ruled the world for the past 30 years of globalization,” he said.
The coronavirus pandemic by far caused major disruptions across many sectors of the global economy. Most people have lost their jobs and the use of artificial intelligence is being considered to replace the working force.
While the pandemic has dealt a severe blow to the global economy and trade, many businesses across the world are seeking new opportunities to survive the crisis with creativity, self-reliance and adjustments to local conditions.
Many experts have also called on African countries to improve Agriculture Production and Export by looking at the opportunity to boost domestic production and consumption of some food commodities, such as rice, maize, cassava, yam and chicken.
They have stressed the need for countries to focus on the export of commodities for which Ghana has a comparative advantage in. Also, to trade within the West African Sub-region and other countries that have not closed their borders to cargo.
Already the outbreak of the virus has so far claimed over three hundred fifty thousand lives globally, out of over six million cases.