According to the World Bank, the GTIGP, which has created 305,874 jobs for Ghanaians and 10,994 jobs for non-Ghanaians, has a foreign direct investment (FDI) component of $12.1 billion.
“Approximately 3,214 projects valued at $12.6 billion registered between 1999 and 2009, with a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) component of $12.1 billion”, said the World Bank.
It adds, “Increase in employment generated through integrated investment and trade promotion to 305,874 for Ghanaians and 10,994 for non-Ghanaians.”
The project, according to the World Bank, was a renewed approach to investment promotion and capacity development for both the Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC)–with two Regional Investment Promotion Offices outside the capital and the Ghana Free Zones Board (GFZB).
As a result of the Free Zones Programme under the project which established 238 new free zone enterprises in the country including the Tema Export Processing Zone (EPZ) and the creation of a Multipurpose Industrial Park (MPIP), export revenue increased from $148 million in 1999 to $1.3 billion in 2008.
Approximately $2.6 billion total investment in free zone companies and direct employment of 8,000 people and estimate of 30,000 indirect jobs were created, the Bank says.
The achievement of the project was due to improved trade facilitation which existed in the country.
“The Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) installed and operationalized a new Ghana Customs Management System (GCMS) on an automated electronic platform, christened, Ghana Community Network System (GCNet) and the CEPS is now ISO 9001:2008 certified”, the Bank says.
According to the Bank, the Ghana Immigration Services (GIS) introduced and automated the visa-on-arrival (VOA) scheme with the issuance of visas online within 24 hours with an improvement of departure and arrival formalities with automated systems at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
The Banks also said the installation of electronic data management systems and streamlining the issuance of resident and work permits was a contributing factor.
The GIS mainstreamed trade facilitation and customer care in its training courses, it said.
The World Bank says the project was financed by the International Development Association (IDA) with $50.5 million, the Government of Ghana contributed $3.4 million in counterpart funds and about $2.1 million was provided by the private sector for the development and provision of teleport facilities for the export-processing zone.
The GTIGP aims at attracting a critical mass of export-oriented investors to Ghana to accelerate export-led growth as well as facilitate trade.
The project was redesigned in 2005 and its implementation methodology was retrofitted.
Partners of the project during its implementation are the Ghana Free Zones Board (GFZB), Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority (GPHA), Ghana Immigration Services (GIS), Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) and the Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC).
Others include the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the GCNet and the Ghana Investment Advisory Council (GIAC).
The programme ended on December 31, 2009.
By Ekow Quandzie