John Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen
THE MINISTER of Trade and Industry, John Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, says Ghana is aspiring to become a global power house in industrialization, indicating that the One-District One-Factory (1D1F) policy introduced by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration has increased the country’s industrial capacity and productivity, thereby reducing the rate of importation.
“It is not a matter of chance that the most powerful economies are most industrialised (sic). How can you survive in a country where literally you are importing everything? By increasing industrial capacity and productivity you’re going to be able to produce things that you ought not to be importing,” he stated.
Speaking at the Nation Building Updates organized by the Ministry of Information in Accra on Thursday, the Trade and Industry Minister disclosed that the Akufo-Addo government had planned to move Ghana from an agrarian economy to an industrialized one.
According to him, the 1D1F programme has begun to transform local economies by bringing industrial development and sustainable job opportunities to the doorstep of Ghanaians, thereby reducing the urban-rural migration.
“If you are in your village and there is something useful going on, what business do you have in flocking to Accra or Kumasi to go and hustle looking for a non-existing job when you know you can be gainfully employed in your village?” Mr. Kyerematen asked rhetorically.
“The 1D1F has helped us to decentralize industrial development to bring industries to the doorstep of every Ghanaian. Between 90 and 95 per cent of our enterprises are located either in Accra or in Tema. This is not sustainable and that is why the 1D1F is important,” he pointed out.
“You cannot reduce poverty without creating jobs which allow people to earn income; if you earn income, you reduce the level of your poverty,” the minister pointed out.
He disclosed that 232 out of 260 factories under the 1D1F flagship programme were near completion, with some operating at full capacity, adding “through the 1D1F government initiative, 76 projects have been completed and are in full operation.”
“One hundred and seven (107) projects are under construction, 36 are ready to commence constructions and 13 are in the pipeline to be financed by the Private Finance Initiative (PFIs),” he added.
The Trade Minister was speaking on the theme: “Industrializing Ghana; One District at a Time”. He said the 1D1F agenda was the key to Ghana’s structural transformation.
Mr. Kyerematen explained that 162 of the factories, representing 72 per cent, are new companies, while 64 are existing companies that have roped into the programme.
By Ernest Kofi Adu