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Industrial location in the developing countries : The Accra plains (Ghana). Twumasi, Kojo

Abstract

The purpose of the study is to show that only predetermined industrial location within a regional framework will assist the developing countries to achieve their industrialization goals. The study of this regional approach to industrial location in the developing countries is undertaken because it is felt that location of industries is one of the problems of the industrialization process in the developing countries, and that there is a need for an approach which the developing countries can use to achieve their industrialization goals of full employment, higher income per capita, and earning or saving foreign exchange. In order to investigate this regional approach to industrial location, it is necessary to make some preliminary considerations of the various concepts involved. The term 'the developing countries' is defined, and the role of industrialization in economic development of these countries is indicated. Location of industries is shown as one of the problems of industrialization, and methods of analyzing the problem of industrial location are examined. The importance of the concept of predetermined industrial location within a regional framework necessitates a review of the concept and its application in Puerto Rico. These preliminary considerations form the basis of the appreciation of the problems of industrial location, which the developing countries must consider in their national industrial development policies. These problems are: the selection of industries and of industrial locations, and the provision of the facilities necessary to support industrial locations. The consideration of the problems of industrial location provides an opportunity for relating the regional approach to industrial location to the case study area, namely, the Accra Plains in Ghana. In this regard, Ghana's national industrialization goals are identified; the settlement pattern, the economy and the resources of the region are examined to show the extent to which industries could be developed to achieve the national industrialization goals. A regional plan prepared for this region is also evaluated. It is observed that the planning consultants recommended industrial concentration only in four large urban centres in Ghana with complete disregard for the smaller urban centres and the rural areas, and that the implementation of such a recommendation would tend to widen further the existing gap between the living standards of the people in these large urban areas and the rest of the country. Only these four centres were selected as points of industrial concentration because industrial location was predetermined within a national framework. It is concluded that only predetermined industrial location within a regional framework will assist Ghana to achieve her industrialization goals, since the use of such an approach would enable the country to examine the resources and the needs of all the urban and the rural areas. It is emphasized that although the regional approach to industrial location will assist the developing countries to achieve their industrialization goals, nevertheless this approach must take cognizance of the national development goals and be related to local economic, social, and physical conditions.

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