The Ministry of Trade and Industry, has received more than 150 proposals covering varied economic interests from various parts of the country on the ‘One District, One Factory” policy, as of Friday, May 19.
Mr Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen, the Minister for Trade and Industry (MoTI), who announced this in Accra, said initiative was receiving very enthusiastic responses from the business and investor community both local and international.
He said the proposals included business plans, feasibility studies and expression of interest.
The Minister said the project had the potential of transforming the industrial landscape of Ghana, and would contribute significantly to the socioeconomic development agenda of the country.
The “One-District, One-Factor” initiative would be launched at the next National Policy Summit, scheduled for June, with subsequent roll out stakeholder engagements and mini launches in each district, he announced.
Mr Kyerematen was delivering his keynote address at the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) forum on the Policy.
He said currently there was a list of more than 300 potential projects that had been identified for the districts.
He also announced that individuals or group of individuals interested in participating in the programme were invited to submit an Expression of Interest in writing, addressed to the Chief Director, MoTI (email@example.com) or to the District Chief Executive for the district in which a proposed project was to be located.
The forum was on the theme:“Leveraging on the “One-District, One-factory” Policy for Private Sector Growth”.
It brought together policy makers, financiers, industry practitioners, insurance companies and other relevant stakeholders to share their perspectives on the policy, implementation plans, financing options, need for value chain mapping, diagnosis and risk management.
The Minister said the policy sought to address the challenge of severe poverty and underdevelopment among rural communities through the establishment of an institutional framework that would attract private sector investments in rural development activities.
He said the programme also sought to promote local participation in economic development and encourage new community-based public/private partnership.
Mr Kyerematen said it was estimated that the “One-District, One-Factory” initiative would provide more than 500,000 to one million direct and indirect jobs from all parts of the country.
He said the project would stimulate economic activity throughout the country; significantly enhance agricultural production, in particular, by reducing post-harvest losses, enhance technology transfer, reduce import bill and increase foreign exchange earnings.
He said the identification of the potential projects that could be implemented in each district would be based on their natural resource endowment; and that this would be done with the active participation and involvement of the private sector, the district assembly and other institutional investors.
He said the selection of one priority project to be designated as the District Enterprise Project (DEP) would be based on agreed criteria.
The financing of each DEP would be based on the shareholding structures agreed between the Government, the District Assembly and the strategic private sector investor.
“The cost of each project will only be determined on the basis of the projections in the Business Plan, but it is envisaged that on the average, it would range between one million dollars to five million dollars,” he said.
“The equity contributions of both government (if any) and the private sector will be used to leverage additional debt financing. Government’s equity contribution, if required, shall not exceed 30 per cent in the case of each DEP.”
Mr Kyerematen explained that the “One-District, One-Factory” initiative was not a state enterprise project, and the Government was only facilitating the growth of the private enterprise for Ghana’s socioeconomic development.
Mr Anselm Ray Sowah, the Managing Director, GCB Bank, announced that the Bank was ready to provide funding of one billion Ghana Cedis in support of the “One-District, One-Factory” project; adding that, the GCB would also sponsor the cost of consultancy services of the project.
Nana Dr Appiagyei Dankawoso I, the President, GNCC, called on all and sundry to strive to make the “One-District, One-Factory” policy successful in order to improve the socioeconomic development of the country.