The Ashanti Regional Minister,Mr.Simon Osei Mensah has chaired the twenty -third Regional Annual General Meeting of the Ashanti,Bono,Bono East and Ahafo regional branch of the Association of Ghana Industries at the Royal Lamerta hotel in Kumasi today.
Speaking at the event this morning, Mr.Simon Osei Mensah said,it was his pleasant duty to join them this morning at the 23rd Regional Annual General Meeting of the Ashanti, Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regional branch of the Association of Ghana Industries which brought together their members and other stakeholders to deliberate on very important issues of national concern.
According to him,he has always attached great importance to their Annual General Meetings and other activities because he’s very much aware of the critical role the Association of Ghana Industries play in the development of Ashanti Region and the economy of the country as a whole.
He said, the industrial sector is one of the most leading and important sectors of all developed and developing economies and Ghana is no exception.
It is the sector that ensures value addition to raw materials produced; thereby, turning the raw materials into finished products of high value.
“As we are all aware, the manufacturing sector has a direct impact on both the micro and macro-economic sectors of the economy. It creates jobs and employment (both direct and indirect), increases export of value-added products and in turn, reduces import of finished goods and therefore, improves balance of payments. It also increases both tax and non-tax revenue to government, among many others.
It is therefore a sector that must not to be toyed with but rather should have policies and programmes developed for continuous improvement.”He added.
He said, the theme for this year’s Regional Annual General Meeting; ‘Investing in Ghanaian industries to leverage opportunities in the single African market’ was very appropriate as it fits into government’s industrial transformation agenda which seeks to build a strong industrial base for the Ghanaian economy.
“Determined to change the nature of the Ghanaian economy from one that is dependent on imports and export of raw materials to one focused on manufacturing, value addition and export of processed goods, the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo led NPP Government, since 2017, has invested heavily in developing and promoting the manufacturing and service delivery sectors through several policy initiatives.
Notable among them is the ‘One District One Factory’ (1D1F) flagship programme, through which a total of 125 factories (existing and struggling and new ones) have been supported with funds and are in operation at the moment. The Ashanti Region, is home to 21 of these Factories.
A few of the completed and operational companies under the programme include Boris ‘B’ Farms and Vet Supplies Ghana Ltd. at Bantama; dealers in poultry and poultry feed; Aspee Pharmaceuticals Ltd. at Ejisu, manufacturers of pharmaceutical products, Darko Farms Groups at Akropong which is into processing of poultry and Anok Gyes Farms Ltd. at Agona Wiamoase, producer of pig feed.
Thirty (30) more companies are under construction in the Ashanti Region and would soon be completed for commissioning, while a few more are on the drawing board awaiting consideration for approval.”He maintained.
He revealed that,the Government of Ghana has also through the GH¢100 billion Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support programme dubbed GhanaCARES ‘Obaatan Pa’, which was formally launched almost two (2) years ago, supported many manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries to strongly survive the COVID-19 impact.
One of the objectives of the GhanaCARES ‘Obaatan Pa’ programme is to support the private sector particularly in agribusiness, manufacturing, ICT and digitalization.
The programme ,he said , built on the initiatives and achievements of government, prior to COVID-19, is made of two parts; (i) immediate measures taken in 2020 to stabilize the economy; and (ii) a revitalization part comprising measures to be implemented from 2021 to 2023 to ensure quick economic recovery and pursue the Ghana Beyond Aid economic transformation agenda.
He quickly added that, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), which was established with the mandate to develop and promote Ghanaian exports has primarily been focused on diversifying Ghana’s export base from the traditional export products of gold, cocoa beans, timber log and lumber and electricity.
The Authority has currently been dealing with over 300 different non-traditional export products categorized into agricultural, processed or semi processed products and handicrafts. I would therefore urge the Association to strengthen and deepen its collaboration with the GEPA and take advantage of the Authority’s work to diversify its export base.
The Ashanti Regional Minister further noted that,one of the avenues the Government of Ghana has also been vigorously pursuing, is the opportunity the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) presents for the export of commodities to the about 1.3 billion population African market.
The implementation of the AfCFTA calls for export opportunities for Ghana industries.
” We are fortunate as a country to play host to the Secretariat of the AfCFTA which is located in Accra.
The surest way to take advantage of the Secretariat is to make a deliberate attempt to collaborate to create export-oriented companies and industrialize Ghana to serve the African market. Ghana has good natural resources and educational institutions to develop resources for the huge market in Africa.”He added.
Indicating ,the Ashanti Regional Co-ordinating Council has always collaborated with the private sector, and together with the AGI, adding,they are implementing projects that would help grow the economy to promote businesses in the Ashanti Region.
“There is currently a proposal on the table to organize a Fair at the end of the year and I am very definite that you will be given the details in due course.”He concluded.
Source: Ayisah Foster|| Broadcastergh.com