Gov’t ‘aggressively’ pursuing industrialization agenda – Fin Minister

The Minister for Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta reiterated during the mid-year budget review that government is aggressively pursuing an industrialization agenda.

The objective is to widen the opportunities for job creation and expanding the economy through accelerated technology-based manufacturing and aggressive export promotion.

Speaking at Parliament during the 2019 mid-year budget review, the Minister said, government is also actively promoting marketing and distribution of domestically produced goods.

According to the Minister, 181 projects One District, One Factory (1D1F) are currently at various stages of implementation, spread over 110 districts across the 16 regions of the country.

The 1D1F initiative is designed to support the private sector to establish at least one industrial enterprise in every district.

As at June this year, 57 projects were in operation providing 10,753 direct jobs and 43,094 indirect jobs. An additional 33 projects financed by local Partner Financial Institutions (PFIs) will commence operation by the end of 2019.

In addition, Ofori-Atta indicated that eight large scale processing plants are expected to begin operations by December 2019, where government has also secured funding to commence the construction of 56 small scale processing facilities and five common user processing facilities for organised farmer groups by the end of December, 2019.

A total of GHc 430.7 million has been mobilized from local financial institutions to support the programme. Furthermore, government has sourced external funding and credit lines in the sum of US$700 million to address access to finance challenges.

In order to enhance the competitiveness of the 1D1F companies, government obtained Parliamentary approval for a package of incentives including: a five-year tax holiday; exemption from duties, taxes and levies on imported machinery, equipment and parts and selected raw materials not already exempted by law for 1D1F companies.

However, the government is collaborating with the private sector to facilitate the establishment of a number of modern Industrial Parks and Special Economic Zones (SEZ). The following parks are currently under development which is the Dawa Industrial Park at Dawa on the Accra–Aflao Highway currently has 2,000 acres fully developed out of 22,000 acres available land; and the West Park Industrial Estate at Shama in the Western Region is constructing onsite infrastructure for its 400 acre industrial park.

Under the Integrated Aluminium Development Programme, Ofori-Atta said “our efforts to drive the industrial transformation and accelerated development of the country through the Integrated Aluminium  Development Programme remains on course”

In March, 2019, the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) launched a three round investor engagement process.