Professor Maxwell Owusu, Lecturer at the University of Michigan, United States, says industrialised countries have effective literacy skills and culture for national development.
He said it was imperative for Africa in general and Ghana in particular to create its own knowledge through reading and not always depend on foreigners for assistance.
Prof. Owusu said this in Accra at the Seventh Kobina Sekyi Memorial Lecture on the topic: “Culture, Nationalism and Nation-Building: The Role of the Ghanaian Intelligentsia”.
The lecture was organised by the Department of Political Science, University of Ghana, Legon, in collaboration with the Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society, University of Western Cape in South Africa.
Prof. Owusu said the country needed a strong mass of literacy culture to boost industrialisation for holistic development.
He said an industrialised country created employment opportunities for its citizenry because the industrial sector was an important employer for both skilled and unskilled labour.
Prof. Owusu explained that industrialisation helped to facilitate technological change and advancement, which were crucial for development.
“Through industrialisation, a country is able to conserve foreign exchange by reducing on imports. This is particularly so when industries are established to produce goods that are previously imported. This foreign exchange can be used to import essential capital goods and stimulate capital formation,” he added.
Prof. Owusu said nationalism drew its strength from numerous roots such as the love of one’s people, customs, traditions, culture, ethnic and tribal gods and homeland.
He said some political leaders in Africa and Ghana in particular mismanaged resources, leading to the high level of poverty.
He expressed concern about the country’s inability to have a research university and urged the Government to work towards establishing one to broaden the frontier of research-based issues.
“The University of Cape Town, South Africa, is the only African University among the 2018 World University Rankings of 1000”.
He urged Political Science students to be objective and not join any political parties in school to be able to criticise constructively without fear or favour.
He advised the students to strive for excellence and read more books to broaden their knowledge for intellectual discourse.
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor said the society needed effective leaders to chart the path of development adding that this could be done through investment in education.
He advised the students to learn hard and emulate the life of the late Mr Kobina Sekyi, a Lawyer, a Politician and a Writer who had contributed to the social development in the country.