Before the downward spiral of the mid 1970s, Ghana was a manufacturing hub thanks to the vision of Kwame Nkrumah. 40 years down the line, we look back at the stunning story of how the country first made cars.
Over half of Ghana's population never saw the promising path the country was set on in the 1960s yet the country is only 62 years. And as such, the story of how we used to build cars in this country is unknown to many.
YEN.com.gh went through the history books and found that Ghana was conceived by first president, Kwame Nkrumah, as a place capable to becoming the manufacturing hub of Africa.
And so the best plans were made so that some years after Nkrumah's ousting from office, many of his blueprints were followed and a car was made under Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong.
In Ghana’s First Republic, a period that saw a flowering of the African genius, President Kwame Nkrumah called to his office, heads of the country’s vehicle importing multi-nationals and gave them a sense of his vision.
Writing for the Daily Graphic, Enimil Ashon noted that Nkrumah asked the vehicle importing chiefs, "How about bringing in the parts to be assembled here?"
Forward-looking companies such as UAC (now Unilever) and R.T Briscoe took him up on it, set up vehicle assembly plants, and employed graduates from the Engineering Department of the then University of Science and Technology.
One of those graduates was Paul Victor Obeng, who has been known to younger Ghanaians of now as P.V. Obeng.
But in 1966, the coup against Nkrumah truncated that process.
However, the plan would be resuscitated under the Supreme Military Council chaired by Colonel Acheampong.
Two kinds of vehicles were made, named Boafo and Adom.
Of course, all of this is a throwback to times when Ghana had a plan and we had not deviated so much from that plan. Today, not many even believe we built cars, yachts, made glass among other hardware.
The loss of self-belief has been quite damaging!
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