African products are gradually gaining prominence in Africa and across the world. Talk about products from the fashion, clothing, cosmetics, toiletries, food, beverage, arts, auto, building, healthcare and ICT industries.
Gone are the days when we had to practically import every single product from abroad for use. From clothes to footwear, furniture, phones, computer software, building materials, food items, medicine, everything came from abroad.
However, times are changing now with the African embracing his own and manufacturers coming up with various quality products to serve the needs of the African consumer and the rest of the world.
A complain many had about Africans venturing into manufacturing was quality standards. Most African products manufactured in the past couldn’t compete with products from abroad because they didn’t meet standards and were of inferior quality but that is changing. Now, products made in Africa can confidently compete with products from abroad in terms of quality and durability. Some African manufacturers even have certification based on ISO standards.
When it comes to patronage, the local manufacturing and production industry has seen an appreciable increase in the purchase of its products. For instance, in Ghana, many consumers are now going in for locally made products like beads, jewelry, shoes, slippers, bags, clothes, processed food, beverages, skin care, hair care etc. and they use them with a lot of pride as compared to a few years ago where it was impossible for someone to admit that what they were wearing or using was made in Ghana.
This positive action is not only limited to Ghana, it has spread across the whole continent. I believe the recent motivation to produce and consume quality local products stems from the fact that China is now a giant in manufacturing in the whole world currently due to local production.
A few of years ago, many consumers saw Chinese products as inferior to those from America and Europe. Though there are some inferior products, the Chinese have improved and practically manufacture everything now with high quality standards.
Most companies in Europe and America have shut down their production plants and send their specifications to China for production at a cheaper rate. This is how China rose to become the hub of manufacturing in the world.
This transition by China has encouraged a lot of manufacturers and entrepreneurs in Africa to also improve and push their products to be recognized as internationally competitive. It is working to a large extent that even foreigners have started appreciating the value of made in Africa goods especially our clothing and textile products. The confidence of African manufacturers has been so boosted that the African can now boast of made in Africa cars, phones and other complex products that were never thought possible when it comes to production in Africa a few years ago.
Africans have also come to the understanding that whatever is produced outside can be produced here so why not support our entrepreneurs and make sure that the money stays in Africa instead of importing from abroad and contributing to their economy whiles ours suffer. The African has finally started appreciating their own. This orientation is what African people need to awaken it manufacturing potential.
So the next time you hit the market, make a conscious effort to look out for and purchase products with the label ‘made in Ghana’. Trust you me, you will be impressed at the quality and value of these products. Buy made in Ghana, promote Africa and awaken the sleeping giant.
By Pamela Blankson