The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) has said it is re-positioning itself strongly to partner government in bringing the much anticipated “One District, One Factory” programme to fruition.
“We have had discussions with the presidency and the new trade minister on how our members can partner the government. We are going to sell the idea to local and foreign investors using our platform; we will identify areas that the factories will be set up and their comparable advantages, then we can court the investors,” CEO of the chamber, Mark Badu-Aboagye, disclosed to journalists.
The chamber, he said, is committed and well-positioned to push the country’s industrialisation agenda because it holds huge prospects for the economy.
He said members of the GNCC are ready to partner government and international investors to push the ‘One District, One Factory’ agenda, which he argued, remains very realistic.
“The One District, One Factory initiative is realistic because most of the factories—like the Pwalugu Tomato Factory—are in existence and we only need to take good care of them and make them more productive.
It is also prudent that government wants to partner the private sector which has the ideas and the eye for profit-making. Boosting industrialisation will go to curb the current situation where we continue to export jobs to the countries that we import from,” the GNCC CEO noted.
The “One district, One factory” policy of the new government seeks to ensure that the country’s industrialisation drive spreads to every part of the country, as opposed to the situation where the vast majority of manufacturing facilities are located in the five largest urban areas, namely Accra, Tema, Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale.
On his part, President of the GNCC, Nana Dr. Appiagyei Dankawoso I, said the success of the initiative hangs on the strong will of relevant stakeholders as “investors are out there looking for conducive environments in which they could invest”.
Luckily, he said, there is enough raw materials—citrus, tomato, yam etc—which, instead of going waste, will feed the factories and get added value for local consumption and export.
“For instance, if we are able to add value to watermelon; we won’t have to import watermelon juice. But broadly, we are looking at young graduates getting employment and creating opportunities for themselves. By this, they will give back to government in taxes so the multiplier effect will be quite enormous,” he said.