The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan K. Kyerematen, has revealed that government has outlined a programme dubbed: ‘Accelerated Programme for Industrial Transformation’ to serve as a blueprint to set the industrial sector on the path of growth.
Speaking at the maiden edition of the National Policy Summit organised by the Ministry of Information and the Business and Financial Times, Mr. Kyerematen said that government has developed ten key elements, which includes providing stimulus package for industries, creating a friendly business environment, building export market, among others, to drive this agenda.
“First is what we call the stimulus package for existing local industries. There are exiting industries in Ghana that are potentially viable but are operationally distressed for various reasons. And so government seeks to provide a stimulus fund to support these distressed companies.
The second is what we describe as the one district one factory. We are committed to work with the private sector to ensure that all 216 districts in the country, at least, one commercially viable medium to large scale industrial enterprise is established. And we hope that industry will be able to fundamentally affect the economy of each district,” he said.
“We are also going to promote aggressively export development. In this regard, we have access to the market of Europe through the EPA, we have access to United States through the AGOA, and initiative to make Africa one continental free zone.
Whiles we build our export market will also improve our domestic retail market; support aggressively the growth of our small and medium enterprises through a number of initiatives; and to develop a business-friendly regulatory environment,” Mr. Kyerematen added.
The country’s economy has long relied on cocoa and gold for its export revenue, thereby, neglecting other essential cash crops, resulting in reduction of total revenue.
A report by the Guardian, UK, shows that “plummeting global commodity prices have pummelled Ghana’s economy. Export revenues for oil, gold and cocoa declined from $8.2bn (£5.8bn) between January and September 2014 to $5.8bn a year later.”
In addressing this, the Trade Minister said contained in the programme is government’s plan to diversify the economy by roping in other commodities that will shift focus from the traditional export commodities; and develop the domestic market.
“The third one is what we call strategic anchor industries. As a country, we have depended on cocoa and gold which accounts for about 85 percent of our export revenues. We want to diversify to other areas and so these strategic anchor industries are meant to do that,” he said.
Mr. Kyereaten further stated that government will to support SMEs and continue engaging the private sector to ensure that policies formulated are linked to the growth of the sector.