Business News Tue, 25 Apr 2017

Government lobbies investors for US$1bn to implement 'One District, One Factory'

Investor interest in the government's district industrialisation programme (DIP), christened 'One District, One Factory' (ODOF), is gathering momentum, with financial commitments from the private sector into the initiative totaling US$3 million so far.

Also, some 40 companies have submitted proposals on how to help implement the programme to the ODOF Secretary at the Presidency for consideration and approval.

The National Coordinator of the One District, One Factory programme, Mrs Gifty Ohene-Konadu, who disclosed this to the Graphic Business on Wednesday, April 19 in Accra, also noted that the financial commitments and the proposals from the private sector followed requests from the government to interested investors to help make the programme a success.

“We have also begun to receive enquiries about our work. On the average, we receive about 30 enquiries a week on what we have to offer and what role entities and individuals can play in order to benefit from it. The secretariat has so far tabulated about 310 enquires,” she mentioned.

However, despite the intense interest expressed so far, Mrs Ohene-Konadu said the financial commitments were short of the amount needed to implement the programme.

She explained that preliminary assessments showed that the programme could cost up to US$1 billion to implement, noting that the government had requested interested investors to bring proposals and commitments.

She also indicated that the programme was expected to create about 1,296,000 direct and indirect jobs to provide employment for the teeming youth in the country.

Mrs Ohene-Konadu said a minimum of US$5,000 to US$5 million based on project size and operational investors were required to support the projects, saying government intended to promote an industrialised economy and ensure that development was spread across the country.

Work so far

After the appointment of the national coordinator and the establishment of a secretariat at the Flagstaff House, the preparation towards the implementation of programme is ongoing.

The project will facilitate the implementation of a business support service, capacity building, mentoring and coaching, provision of networking opportunities, assistance with financial planning and financial management, as well as assistance with regulatory and legal compliance.

Government commitment

Mrs Ohene-Konadu stated that the secretariat had received a budget approval of GH¢45 million as initial commitment from the government to the execution of the programme.

“It is important to note that there are a variety of people who are interested in an opportunity such as the one this policy is offering. We have had the privilege of meeting with some primary stakeholders, who include business leaders, political players and potential investors,” she said.

She added that the interest in the programme had so far generated investment pledges and commitments with foreign investors constituting about one-third of the total pledges.

The policy

The ‘One District One Factory’ initiative was one of the campaign promises made by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The President’s agenda recognises the role that district industrial development plays and values the role of agriculture and natural resources, as well as the vast potential of rural people as proxies of industrial transformation, employment and wealth creation.

To do this, therefore, the policy is targeted at the district level so that every local government area would be on its way to a certain level of self-sustainability in providing opportunities for its inhabitants.

The benefit of a factory in every district in particular, as well as additional ones in metropolitan and municipal areas, which typically already have one, will add greatly and effectively to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and all positive growth indicators.

“It will also energise all stakeholders in the industrial ecosystem and trigger some actions,” the national coordinator added.”

Source: graphiconline.com.gh