Natural resource is a key input in the production process that stimulates economic growth. However, the depleting character of natural resources coupled with diminishing returns of factor input implies that dependence on natural resource utilization is not an optimal strategy for sustainable growth. By extension, intensive utilization of natural resources undermines sustainable development.
Natural resources have limited direct economic use in satisfying human needs but transforming them into goods and services enhances their economic value to the society. Through the mix of productive activities by different sectors of the economy, the transformation of natural resources into usable goods and services occurs to propel the overall economy to achieve sustainable growth that forms the basis for sustainable development.
Ghana’s success story can be built on gold, crude oil, bauxite, manganese, diamond and cocoa, Ghana leveraged its natural resources to produce strong economic growth in the early years of this century. It met the millennium development goal of halving poverty rates by 2006, and was hailed as a model of political stability after peaceful elections.
Natural resources have a double-edge effect on economic growth, in that the intensity of its use raises output, but increases its depletion rate. Ghana is known to be rich in gold, crude oil, timber, bauxite, manganese and has lost total usefulness of these rich natural resources. Since independence, Ghana has been known to be retrogressing and not progressing due to bad leadership and good governance. With a proper and managerial approach, we can utilize our natural resources and make Ghana first, well oriented and world driven business hub like that of Dubai, China and Qatar.
Increase in population has used more resources to expand production and to achieve a higher rate of economic growth. Though the above argument apparently seems to be plausible but in fact it is not true to assert that natural resources will limit economic growth. The links between the economy and the environment are manifold, the environment provides resources to the economy, and acts as a sink for emissions and waste. Poor environmental quality in turn affects economic growth and wellbeing by lowering the quantity and quality of resources or due to health impacts.
As a politician, business advocate, writer, and entrepreneur, I would like political leaders all and sundry especially those in political office occupying the most powerful and well-respected offices in the Ghanaian political society to help fight migrants from reaching out and exploiting our natural resources for the benefit of their various countries of origin.
It’s time the leadership of the government works hand in hand with all political parties, chiefs various stakeholders, and investors in the fight against illegal mining a measure in securing a better and well-managed mining activity. Hence saves Ghana from losing most of its resources to foreigners.
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