Business News of Mon, 30 Apr 20182
Emulate Ghana's 'transformative program' for industrial growth – Trade Minister to African gov'ts
Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen has charged African governments to develop their capacities to enable them make use of trade and investment opportunities available to the continent.
Alan Kyerematen stressed that European Union, African Union and the US have entered into several agreements with African countries to open up their markets for trading and investments which is necessary for promoting entrepreneurship.
He said, “Unless we start thinking about industrialisation on our continent, I’m not sure whether a more coordinated support from US or AU for your country can put you in any better situation. The key now is industrialisation which is the only way you can produce to take advantage of markets, the only way you can create sustainable jobs.”
To serve as an example for other countries, the Minister announced the strategies and implementation plan Ghana has put in place to benefit from the many trade agreements and market demands across the globe.
“In Ghana, our government has embarked on a very comprehensive and transformative programme for industrial transformation which has ten pillars. First is what we call the 1D1F initiative In Ghana we have 254 districts and government is working together with the private sector to establish at least one major industrial enterprise in each of these districts. This is the only way we can bring industrialisation to the doorstep of the people and by expanding production capacity around the whole of Ghana and by extension, we are creating the productive capacity that will enable us respond to opportunities such as AGOA,” he revealed.
He added, “The second one is one region on park. We have ten administrative regions and in each of these regions again government is working with the private sector to establish one major industrial park. If we have even three of such industrial park in each country targeted at developing the infrastructure to support companies to produce for AGOA, I’m sure we would have made more effective use of it.”
The Trade and Industry Minister made these remarks at a capacity building and skills development workshop in Accra on Monday organised by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
The event brought together over 50 stakeholders from countries across the continent, USAID West Africa Director, Alex Deprez, reps from African Union Commission and African Development Bank.
The workshop aimed at equiping participants with skills and served as a platform used to deliberate on solutions to some challenges affecting the implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which permits member countries to export to the US market duty free and quota free.
Alan Kyerematen also highlighted the significance of AGOA to Ghana’s development agenda and urged other African countries to fuse AGOA into their growth plan and development agenda to facilitate its easy implementation.
He explained that President Akufo-Addo’s agenda to build a ‘Ghana beyond’ may not succeed if such opportunities to access various markets were not in existent.
“For us in Ghana this workshop could not have come at a better time, of course one of the things you will pick up on the radar will be that our president has articulated a new vision for our country which is Ghana beyond aid. As a country that wants to move beyond aid the choice for you is to concentrate on trade and investment which AGOA seeks to do so for the purposes of our own development vision in Ghana, AGOA is extremely significant and important if we can realise our vision of moving Ghana Beyond aid” he emphasised.