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Sat, Nov

1-District-1-Factory policy kicks off with Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Co. Ltd.

Business & Economy

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured that the One-District-One-Factory policy would ensure an even spatial spread of industries throughout the country.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured that the One-District-One-Factory policy would ensure an even spatial spread of industries throughout the country.

 

Aside that, the President stated that it would go a long way to promote rapid industrialization at the district level, driven by strong linkages to agriculture and other natural resource endowments, to create jobs and wealth.

He said this, Friday, at the launch of the Policy at Ekumfi, in the Central Region.

The ‘One-District-One-Factory’ policy is aimed at establishing, at least, one factory in each of the 216 districts of Ghana as a means of creating economic growth poles that would accelerate the development of those areas and create jobs as well.

The President emphasized that there was the need for Ghana to industrialize with the sole aim of adding significant value to its primary products.

“Raw material producing economies do not create prosperity for the masses. The way to that goal, the goal of ensuring access to prosperity, is value addition activities in a transformed and a diversified, modern economy. In other words, the industrial development of our economy,” he said.

President Nana Akufo-Addo expressed worry that since the days of Governor Guggisberg decades ago, the economy had remained “structurally rigid, depending largely on exports of primary commodities such as gold, cocoa, bauxite, timber and lately crude oil.”

He added that the situation had not change per figures from the Bank of Ghana’s Monetary Policy Committee in 2016 and instead worsened.

“In 2016, for example, the export of gold, cocoa and oil amounted to $8.75 billion out of a total export merchandise of $11 billion. This means that almost eighty per cent (80%) of our foreign exchange earnings were from gold, cocoa and oil,” he said.

President Nana Akufo-Addo continued, “Another startling example can be found in the figures from the production and export of cocoa. Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire account for more than 60% of the world’s cocoa output. Ghana, for example, earned $2 billion from the sale of cocoa beans in 2015, and Cote d’Ivoire $3.75 billion, amounting, together, to $5.75 billion.

And, yet, the chocolate market was worth a little over $100 billion in 2015. It means that the farmers who, through their sweat and toil, produced 60% plus of the world’s cocoa, earned 5.75% of the global value of their activity.”

To this end, the President said this trend must not be allowed to continue because there cannot be any future prosperity for Ghanaians, in the short, medium or long term, if the country maintained an economic  structures that are dependent on the production and export of raw materials.

President Nana Akufo-Addo lamented how the country’s industry with a growth rate of 15.1% in 2008, under then President Kufuor, had slumped to 0.8% in 2014, -0.3% in 2015, and further down to -1.4% in 2016.

“However, as a result of the relative normalization of the power situation in the country, and the implementation of our business-friendly policies, industry, for the first quarter of 2017, recorded the impressive growth rate of 11.5 percent, the highest sectoral growth in the economy. The policies we have put in place to shift the focus of our economy from taxation to production are beginning to work,” he assured.

According to the President, the construction of the Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Company Limited, which would be the first factory to be established under the initiative, is in fulfillment of a pledge he made to the people of Ekumfi on November 1, 2016.

He mentioned that the project had  been well-planned and well-thought through, with the raw materials needed for the successful implementation of the project already present, and an outgrower scheme also in place.

“With a capacity to process and package about 80 tons of fruits per day, this factory is expected to process a total of about 25,600 tons of fruit per year. A total of 250 persons will be employed at the factory, with over 5,000 jobs, direct and indirect, being created as a result,” the President said.

He told the gathering that a programme implementation framework, which sets the modalities of implementation for the One-District, One-Factory had been prepared, stressing that the Technical Support Group for the programme has already reviewed over 330 business plans  received for the initiative.

“The Asempa Budget has allocated an amount of $100 million dollars as Government contribution, either as equity or in kind support, for the establishment of the factories. An additional amount of $340 million has been leveraged from local financial institutions for the programme.

Government, in collaboration with the Association of Ghana Industries, has also arranged a Suppliers Credit Facility for $2 billion from China to provide equipment, machinery and other facilities in support of the programme. Thus far, about 59 per cent of these applications are from the manufacturing sector, whilst 33 percent are from the agribusiness sector,” President Nana Akufo-Addo said.

He said, hopefully, 51 districts would start actual implementation of their enterprises by the end of the year, with the potential to generate about 80,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The President appealed to Ghanaians as well as financial organizations for the success of the project.

“We must banish the spectre of young and able bodied men and women who leave our rural areas for urban areas in search of non-existent jobs. Every district in our country abounds in raw materials, and it is the vision of government to create economic growth poles out of them. It is the only way we can deal effectively with the greatest threat to our future – widespread unemployment amongst our youth. The time has come to bring prosperity to all Ghanaians,” he said.



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