Aside from inducing the collapse of large sectors of Ghana’s businesses and throwing thousands of people from work, the new policies imposed on the authorities produced a marketplace supplying the public with practically no choice. People were compelled to purchase whatever it satisfied the dealers to import. Long cherished products vanished to be replaced by cheap copies of doubtful quality.
Tom, an English engineer seeing Tamale in northern Ghana in 1987, was advised that the northerners greatly valued the British goods which they had come to know and trust in colonial times. Likewise the northerners adored the Raleigh bicycle and the first Land Rover four-wheel-drive automobile. They called these goods’first’ and constantly asked for them. But these days they couldn’t be bought new because almost all present imports were from China and India. These nations produced copies of the Lister engine as well as the Raleigh bikes but the northerners had soon came to detect the difference in quality. That was how the requirement for the’first’ began.
Tom said he feared that if the British goods were imported these times the rural folks would not have the ability to afford them, and in any case, the grade wasn’t as great as before. He was told in response that the regional people would attempt to pay more for better quality. The Cotton Development Company had recently imported bikes to market to their employees on easy-payment provisions. The majority of the bikes were from China but a couple of Raleighs were included. Even though the cost was higher, it was the Raleighs which were spoken for first.
Tom’s Ghanaian interlocutor said he was puzzled by what had occurred. However, this market didn’t provide what the people demanded, it provided what it suited the dealers to import. The people could just buy what was locally available. It wasn’t a free market, it was a slaves’ marketplace.