Mr. Osei Assibey-Antwi, Mayor of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), said some economically viable factories, which hitherto, provided jobs for the citizens, have been dormant for many years now.
It includes the Neoplan Assembly Plant, which was providing buses for transport; the shoe factory, providing different types of foot wears; jute factory, providing sacks for cocoa, coffee and other commodities, as well as the brewery and cocoa processing factory, which also took care of the abundant cocoa produced in the Ashanti Region.
Mr. Assibey-Antwi, made the appeal at the maiden UK-Ghana Business Council (UKGBC) forum in Kumasi, credited the UK government for some significant investments in the region to improve the living conditions of the people.
The latter was involved in the modernization and expansion of the Kumasi Central Market, the expansion of Kumasi Airport and construction of the Bekwai Hospital.
“There could not have been a better time for strategic economic partnership than now,” the Mayor remarked.
He also stressed that, investments in the agro-processing sector, for instance, in Kumasi and its environs would be one of the best economic decisions. This, perhaps is due to the city’s central geographical and socio-economic location, especially in terms of raw materials, labour and the ports to facilitate activities along the value chain.
The UKGBC forum, co-chaired by the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr. Iain Walker, and the Mayor, Mr. Assibey-Antwi, provided the platform to discuss avenues for possible partnership between the UK and Ghana.
It looked at infrastructural and agricultural development, and most importantly, industrialization.
Mr. Assibey-Antwi also said the Nana Akufo-Addo led administration is commitment to build an economy that is not dependent on charity and hand-outs, but an economy that will look at the proper management of its resources.
Out of this agenda, he noted, had been born the implementation of some viable policies, including One District, One Factory (1D1F).
Mr. Walker said the UKGBC was set up to advance economic partnership efforts between the two countries.
It serves as a platform in bringing together government officials on each side to create avenues for trade, investment and development.
“I am delighted to co-host the first UKGBC regional forum alongside the Mayor of Kumasi. It is exciting to know that less than a year since the launch of Council, we are taking practical steps to expand our engagement,” the British Commissioner noted.
On the side-line of the forum, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the KMA and British High Commission to help accelerate socio-economic development for the mutual benefits of the two countries.