Business News of Tuesday, 18 September 2018
Source: Jubilee House
The Government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is committed to the implementation of its industrialisation plan, designed to transform the Ghanaian economy, and will, therefore, continue to offer similar incentives to local industries as those offered to foreign companies wishing to set up shop in Ghana, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has assured.
The Vice President of the Republic reaffirmed government’s commitment to industrial growth when he gave the keynote address at the opening ceremony for the ongoing Ghana Industrial Summit and Exhibition 2018 at the Accra International Conference Centre on Tuesday 18th September 2018.
The Summit, under the theme “International Partnerships for Value-Added Industrial and Local Content Development” has been organised by the Association of Ghana Industries in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and provides an opportunity for stakeholders to deliberate on ways to ensure the growth and sustenance of Ghanaian industry.
The Vice President indicated that special, industry-tailored policies and programmes are also being implemented by government, with a view to ensuring that newly revived companies not only find their feet and contribute to national development, but feed into the overall plan for increased value-addition to ensure greater earnings.
Dr. Bawumia further stated that “in addition to the One District One Factory initiative, a key strategic focus of President Nana Akufo-Addo in Ghana’s industrialization drive is the establishment of an integrated Bauxite and Aluminium industry across the entire value chain of mining, refining, smelting, and downstream production to ensure value addition so that we earn more from the exploitation of our natural resources. That is a multi-billion value chain, VALCO is a key part of this value chain, and we hope to get them operating at full capacity soon,” Vice President Bawumia stated.
It is because of this strategic vision that government has provided funding to restart the operations of VALCO and it is currently operating at 35% capacity after being shut down for several years.
However “VALCO is currently importing alumina to smelter. The establishment of a bauxite refinery in Ghana is therefore imperative and the search for partners to build the refinery has begun,” he revealed.
The Vice-President said another example of revival is the garment producing Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL). “ATL for example was dead. It was shut down, but Government has revived it and it has started operations. As you all know, we are going to be recruiting 100,000 graduates under the Nation Builders Corp (NABCO), in a few weeks. The 100,000 graduates will have some uniforms, and we are making sure that those uniforms are produced in Ghana, and ATL is producing the cloth for those uniforms.
“Once the uniforms are produced, as you know each constituency is going to provide about 350 graduates for NABCO. We are also insisting that the local tailors in these constituencies are the ones that are going to sew the uniforms, so that we can have some economic activities at that level too.”
Vice President Bawumia indicated that although a number of companies have already signalled their intent to take advantage of the Akufo-Addo government’s business-friendly policies, including global automotive giant VW and Sinotruk International, China’s first heavy duty truck manufacturer, Government will take a holistic, forward-looking stance in the design of policy.
“We’re not going to make policy for the benefit of one supplier, like VW or Nissan. We’re looking at a policy that applies to the entire automobile industry. We’ve had discussions for example with our local producers like Kantanka, so that we make sure that whatever incentives we’re providing to all these people who are interested in coming here, like the Nissans and VWs, are also available to the Kantankas of Ghana,” the Vice President emphasised.
Similar policies to ensure value addition is also being examined for the petrochemical industry.