The government has released a total sum of GH¢721 million for the implementation Akufo-Addo’s Industrialization Agenda in Ghana. GH¢465 million goes to the commencement of the one-district-one-factory project, while GH¢256 million will be used to revive 100 private commercially viable but distressed companies across the country.
The Director of Policy Planning, Monitoring and Budget at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr. Padi Adjirakor, made the disclosure at the opening of the Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference. He was speaking on behalf of the Trade Minister, Mr Alan Kyerematen, at the event tagged Ghana-Mexican Trade Relation; Specific Opportunities where Ghana has a Comparative Advantage, held in Accra on Monday, 10th April, 2017.
Mr. Adjirakor said all businesses that are eligible for the two programmes will have to submit their proposals to the Trade Ministry, outlining their business plans for the necessary action to be taken. He further stated that the project which will kick off any moment from now, is expected to boost the nation’s economy, create employment opportunities, as well as make most districts economic giants.
This is the first substantial step the Akufo-Addo government is taking towards fulfilling a section of their manifesto promises which is the creation District Enterprises, commonly called the one district-one factory policy.
The policy which stands as the major pillar of Akufo-Addo’s industrialization agenda, is meant to establish medium-to-large-scale factories that have the potential to fundamentally affect the economy and living standards of the districts. Aside building new industrial enterprises to create employment, some other objectives of the district enterprises project include, supporting existing companies and adding value to the country’s natural resource base.
Reacting to government’s move in an interview at the conference, CEO of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Mr. Seth Twum-Akwaboah, commended the NPP administration for this giant stride they have taken to facilitate the growth of businesses in the country.
He pointed out that with the release of the money, companies that would meet the selection requirements will receive both financial and technical support from the government. Mr. Twum-Akwaboah also explained that the initiative would reduce business costs by providing shared industry resources and revenues.
Several foreign investors have already indicated interest in Akufo-Addo’s industrialization agenda, through the district enterprises project. Making a presentation at the Trade and Finance Conference, the Mexican Ambassador to Ghana, Ms. Maria de los Angeles Arriola Aguirre, said investors from Mexico are ready to invest in the country, in areas such as agriculture, health, communication, among others. She therefore, appealed to the government to put in place measures that would encourage those Mexican investors to invest in Ghana.
In the same vein, Turkish Ambassador to Ghana, Nesrin Bayazit has assured that the Turkish government will support the 1 district 1 factory project, especially in the agricultural sector. Nesrin Bayazit pledged the country’s support towards the project, when she paid a courtesy call on the Information Minister, Mustapha Abdul Hamid at his office in Accra.
Moreover, the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, during a 3-dy trip to Mauritius in March, presented Ghana’s plans on industrialization to the Mauritians during a Breakfast Business Meeting, calling on them to come and invest in the country.
The District Enterprises policy has also received wide acceptance and support from locals, with the Sefwi Awiokrom Chief allocating 40 acres of land for the implementation of the project in his area. The Private Enterprise Federation (PEF) has also hinted on plans to collaborate with the president in pursuing his industrialization drive. The CEO of PEF, Nana Osei Bonsu had revealed in an interview on 3FM Business, that PEF has already started creating business district coalitions towards the implementation of the policy.
All these put together, amount to positive signs, that the NPP promise of economic transformation through productivity will eventually be a reality soon.