Government has developed a comprehensive industrial transformation programme that is aimed at ensuring that the country's industrial sector is assisted to lead the economic revolution agenda of Ghana.
Subsequently, it says it is moving to set in motion the process for the review of electricity tariffs.
This comes at the backdrop of government's declaration to see Ghana's inclusion in Africa's economic lions akin to the Asian tigers in the world of economies and business.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said this when he addressed the 6th Ghana Industry and Quality Awards, organised by the Ghana Association of Industries (AGI) at the Banquet Hall in Accra last Saturday. The President said time had come for the world which had seen the rise of the Asian Tigers in the world of economics, to also help raise African lions in the world of business.
According to President Akufo-Addo, in the budget to be read by the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, on Wednesday, 15th November, "I'm sure you will hear some good news, in this regard. Industry is going to be given all the assistance we can muster."
Excited that "businesses are no longer burdened by the erratic power supply that wrecked our nation in recent years", President Akufo-Addo noted that 'dumsor' appears now to be a thing of an unlamented past, "thanks to the work done by the Minister for Energy, Boakye Agyarko."
"Indeed, our efforts at restoring business confidence are beginning to yield positive results, as confirmed by the AGI Business Barometer, showing a consistent rise in business confidence throughout this year" the President asserted.
"To the extent that exports guarantee foreign exchange and a stable currency, the greatest aspiration any of us could hope for is an investment in the vision of Ghana becoming an export-oriented economy, driven by industry," he added.
In furtherance of this agenda, President Akufo-Addo revealed that 192 business plans for the 1-District-1-Factory initiative have been approved for takeoff, with the AGI working closely with government to ensure the success of this project.
This collaboration, he said, has resulted in a Suppliers Credit Facility of $2 billion from China, arranged by the government for AGI to provide equipment, machinery and other facilities in support of the programme.
President Akufo-Addo stated that "from a growth rate of 15.1% in 2008, growth in industry slumped to 0.8% in 2014, -0.3% in 2015, and further down to -1.4% in 2016."
However, the sector picked up and grew by 11.5% within the first quarter of 2017, being the highest sectoral growth in the economy, adding that the friendly-business policies put in place by his government to shift the focus of the economy from taxation to production accounts for the changes in growth.
New Economic Growth poles
In order to rapidly accelerate the Ghanaian economy, President Akufo-Addo said the country needed to create new growth poles for the development of the economy.
"A revived textile and garments industry will be one of them. In the course of this meeting of parliament, we will establish an Integrated Bauxite and Aluminum Development Authority, to exploit the entire value chain of our considerable bauxite deposits. In the same manner, an Iron and Steel Development Authority is also in the pipeline to do the same for our iron ore deposits," he said.
The President continued, "we want to promote the installation of vehicle assembly plants and move rapidly to establish petrochemical industries now that our gas resources can be brought into play to provide cheap power for our industrial growth. If the requisite investments to undertake these new industrial initiatives can be secured, the development of the economy, and its capacity to generate jobs, will be dramatically enhanced. We are going to do our maximum to secure these investments."
In working systematically to accentuate the decline in interest rates by strengthening the macro-economy, President Akufo-Addo indicated that "government is also designing innovative solutions to remove one of the main constraints to rapid industrial growth - access to medium and long term finance for our industrial enterprises. Very soon, the solutions for addressing this problem will be unveiled."
In all a total of 28 awards were given to deserving companies. The key award categories include Overall Best Industry Company of the Year; Best Corporate Social Responsibility Company; Best Company Employer of the Year; Young Enterprise Company (Innovation and Entrepreneurship Award); Fastest Growing Company of the Year; and Best Practices in Sustainable Manufacturing Company.
The sectors include agribusiness, automotive & transport, chemicals, electricals & electronics, energy, food & beverages, financial services, garments, textiles & leather, hospitality & tourism, Information, Communication & Technology, metals, building & construction, oil & gas services, pharmaceuticals, printing, rubber & plastics, toiletries & cosmetics, and wood processing.
The Overall Best Industrial Company of the Year award for the first time went to an indigenous Ghanaian company, Tropical Cable Ghana Limited. Other awardees include Best company employer of the year, Dangote Cement Limited, Best Corporate Social Responsible Company of the year, Nkonkopa Cocoa Buying Ghana Limited.
Best Social Enterprise, was secured by Autism Awareness Care and Treatment. The Young Enterprise award went to Global Poly Ghana Limited, while the fastest growing company of the year was taken by Dannex Limited. Best practices in Sustainable Manufacturing, Guinness Ghana limited, National Best Quality Award, Diamond category, went to Total Petroleum Limited. The National Best Quality Award, Gold category was taken by Ever Pure Ghana Limited and the National Best Quality Award; overall best quality went to Total Petroleum Ghana Limited.
Source: ISD (Rex Maninoo Yeboah)