The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen has reaffirmed government’s commitment to deliver on the “One District One Factory” Policy by the end of 2020.
According to him work was progressing steadily and by the close of the year more than 100 of the factories would be up and running for all Ghanaians to see and attest to the fact that it was not a political gimmick.
“This policy cannot be reduced to a mere political gimmick since it is an integral part of the government’s grand industrialisation agenda for the country. No country has achieved superlative growth which has not been anchored on either trade or the industrial sector. So as a country, we are serious about achieving that level of excellence and the superlative growth that I talk about,” he said.
Taking his turn at the “Meet the Press Series” organised by the Ministry of Information in Accra yesterday, Mr Kyerematen said a total of 181 projects were expected to be operationalised by the end of this year.
He noted that currently 57 companies made up of both newly constructed ones and existing ones which received some stimulus packages were in operation producing different kinds of products for both the domestic and international market.
In addition, he said a total of 22 projects were under construction, while additional 33, 56, eight and five projects made up of small scale processing and common user processing facilities were ready for implementation respectively.
The Minister gave a further breakdown of the 181 factories expected by the end of the year as the following; 129 starting from the scratch and 52 as existing factories which had received support from government to resuscitate their operations and provide the needed employment for the youth.
He said the initiative was a key component of the ten point industrial transformation agenda of the government, stressing that “The initiative is designed to support the establishment of at least one industrial enterprise in each of the 260 districts.”
Mr Kyerematen said the initiative was solely private sector driven with government providing the necessary support in terms of facilitating access to credit, providing interest payment subsidy, providing tax and non-tax incentives as well as free technical assistance.
He said as part of the modalities, two or more districts could collaborate to establish one factory if they had a common resource endowment and where necessary; government could intervene directly in districts where promoters would be identified initially but would later off load its interest to strategic investors.
Mr Kyerematen said apart from the One District One Factory policy, the vision of the Ministry was to transform the country into the new manufacturing hub of the continent through the implementation of the National Industrial Revitalisation Programme with Stimulus Packages, Strategic Anchor Industrial Initiatives- that is developing new growth poles for economic diversification.
In addition were the One Region One Park, Small and Medium Enterprise Development, Industrial Subcontracting, Export Development, Domestic Retail Trade, Business Regulatory Reforms and the Public-Private Dialogue.
“Within this context, the ministry is implementing a comprehensive and integrated programme for industrial transformation which is anchored on 10 pillars aimed at economic growth and diversification and massive job creation,” he emphasized.
Touching on the automotive industry, the Minister said the country would witness huge investment by some global original equipment manufacturers by the end of the year.
These companies he said included; Toyota, Volkswagen, Renault, Nissan, Suzuki and Sinotruck.
He said for this reason cabinet had approved an automotive policy which would be launched soon, adding that “Automotive Standards and Homologation have been developed for public consultations, the development of programme for local manufacturing of components and parts.”
Mr Kyerematen explained that the primary goal underpinning the industrial transformation agenda was to produce locally to replace or compete with imports as well as expand exports to regional continental and global markets.
He said the policy would provide the needed environment that would enable local car manufacturers like Kantanka Automobile Company Limited to export their vehicles to other African countries and the world at large.
By Cliff Ekuful