Dr Kodjo Esseim Mensah-Abrampa, Director General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), has underscored the need to expand the country’s raw materials with its processing and industrial needs.
He identified a long chain of activities in between the nation’s raw materials, which he said had not been capitalised on for processing, industrial development and exports.
Dr Mensah-Abrampa made the call during the 2022 Regional Annual General Meeting of the Eastern, Volta and Oti branch of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) held in Worawora, on the theme, “Promoting Local Economic Development for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).”
The Director General said the high quantum of exports leads to inability of industrial activities to expand and create
“Investors must be able to identify the raw materials and invest along the chain, assuring them of ready market internally and externally,” Dr Mensah-Abrampa said.
Dr Mensah-Abrampa said chains of primary products including tourism, agriculture and lumbering could only become economically viable when they were developed and the full chain including processing and improving upon them were also stretched.
That, he said, would require a horde of collectors who gather products from small and medium entrepreneurs for processing instead of them to be looking for a market to sell their products outside the country.
Dr Mensah-Abrampa identified the Oti Region as having a lot of natural resources and stressed the need for the development of the ownership chain where the local people owned their potential and then called in for outside investors.
Madam Patience Ableze Acorlor, Director, Tema Export Processing Zone (TEPZ) Admin. Office, Ghana Free Zones Authority, said they had heard of the opportunities in the Oti Region and would strategise and market the potentials properly to attract investors.
She said they could get investors to invest in the region if the investors could be assured of the supply of raw materials.
Mr Dela Gadzanku, Regional Chairman, Eastern, Volta and Oti, said the AfCFTA was a powerful instrument at our disposal that offered the greatest opportunities for collaborative partnership between public and private actors to unleash the highest dividends for both players.
He said a major strategy was to dissolve potential barriers that hindered the effective public-private partnership and fast-track processes that improved performance in both sub-sectors.