Mr Kofi Sekyere, Chairman of Kumasi City Mall, has said it is about time Ghanaians saw shopping malls as potential markets for locally produced and manufactured goods to enable retail shopping facilities to contribute towards the country’s import substitution strategy.
Mr Sekyere made this observation when the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, jointly commissioned the $95 million Kumasi City Mall in the Ashanti Regional capital on Wednesday.
“In economic term, these facilities (shopping malls) serve as ready-markets for locally produced and manufactured goods and can therefore contribute substantially towards our country’s import substitution strategy,” Mr Sekyere said in his welcome address.
Citing the wide range of agricultural produce stocked by the malls as ready markets waiting to be exploited, Mr Sekyere urged local farmers, entrepreneurs and the entire business community to begin positioning themselves to take advantage of the many opportunities the advent of malls had brought.
He said Ghana’s import bill could be reduced considerably if even half of the produce offered in the various malls were supplied locally, stressing that the availability of such markets could be a major boost to the government’s innovative One-District -One-Factory agenda.
“It is my vision that, with time, our malls will be majority populated by local businesses and stocked with Ghanaian manufactured products. I’m convinced that this small private investment could be the beginning of the revival of Kumasi’s and indeed Ghana’s manufacturing base, especially as the number of malls increase over time.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo re-echoed the same sentiments as he decried the tendency for supermarkets and malls to trade in imported goods at the expense of locally made products.
As the President commended Delico Kumasi Limited for delivering an imposing business infrastructure to the city of Kumasi, he charged retail facilities in the country to sell local goods as a way of promoting Ghanaian industries and entreated the management of Kumasi City Mall to lead the way by ensuring that at least 20 per cent of products on offer in the mall were made in Ghana.
President Akufo-Addo and Otumfuo Osei Tutu II jointly unveiled a monument which dedicated and christened Kumasi City Mall’s imposing Food Court to the late Queenmother of Ashanti and mother of the Asantehene, Nana Afia Serwaa Kobi Ampem II.