Trade and Industry Minister-designate Alan Kyeremanten says the one district, one factory policy championed by the New Patriotic Party during the campaign will be a major source of the transformation of the country’s economy.
He said the policy will not be a substitute for the existing policy framework in the industrial sector. Rather it will complement efforts at growing the country’s industrial sector.
Answering questions from the 25 member Parliamentary Appointment Committee, the minister-designate outlined a number of benefits the country will accrue as a result of the policy.
The policy he said will be a strategic partnership with the private sector with a close collaboration with the District Assemblies.
For a country reeling under a strangling unemployment rate, Alan Kyeremanten said the policy’s first target will be to ameliorate the unemployment situation in the country.
The policy, he reiterated will provide massive employment to the teeming youth, he pointed out.
With 216 districts in the country, at least a total of 216 factories are expected to be put up across the country, each one depending on the raw materials available in the district.
The Minister-designate stated that another key component of the policy is to add value to the various raw materials grown at the various districts in the countries.
The country has for a long time being exporting its raw materials, particularly cocoa but the minister said the objective is to add value to key raw materials that will be produced across the country.
This will help in boosting the growth of the country’s economy, he noted.
The minister also committed to vigorously identifying “potential strategic export commodities” for the country.
When he was asked how the policy will be executed, the minister-designate said his ministry will establish a technical support group and then interface with the various district assemblies to find out the various growth potential across the country.
He was quick to add however that starting point of the policy will be to look at existing companies in the various districts and support them to become a district enterprise.
In answering a question from the minority leader Haruna Iddrisu on major trade interventions for the private sector, the minister designate said the government will facilitate access to capital.
Whilst admitting that banks give credit to businesses under the current arrangement, he was quick to add that the tenure of the credits have always been a problem.
He said provisions have been made for some banks to refocus its operations in support of investment.
The Minister-designate also cited measures being made to ensure a drastic change in the domestic trade agenda, as well as interventions to improve and modernize domestic trade.
Alan Kyeremanten also promised a “local content legislations to support consumption of local products.”