The Ghana Export-Import Bank (Eximbank) has said it has made some US$50million available to the pharmaceutical industry to help it achieve Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), which is a requirement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that Ghanaian companies must achieve by 2020.
Its CEO, Lawrence Agyinsam, said with Ghana producing only 30% of its own drugs, EximBank believes the industry needs all the support it can use.
“So, with the investment we are putting in, it will definitely boost their production and help them meet the WHO Standard,” he said when Eximbank’s board of directors paid a courtesy call on Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, Okyehene of Akyem Abuakwa, in Accra.
The board, he said, has approved 34 projects so far, out of which 13 qualify under the One District, One Factory (1D1F) initiative.
Lawrence Agyinsam said the visit was part of efforts by the development-oriented bank to engage traditional leaders as it prepares to embark on various projects in their areas of jurisdiction.
“The visit was to ask for the blessings and support of the Chief for the projects we are going to carry out at the Eastern Region,” he told journalists. “The traditional rulers are custodians of the land, and as custom demands we are to seek their permission before we work on the land. A similar visit, too, was paid to Asantehene, Osei Tutu.
“As a development bank, it is very important that we work with the chiefs because they are the custodians of the land as well as agents of development and change in their society, which is why we are here to receive the blessings of Osagyefo,” he said.
Receiving the delegation, the Okyehene charged them to help development know-how, particularly in the agriculture sector, to help propel economic development.
“No country has ever developed based on what resources the country has, but what the country knows – in other words, the technical know-how.
“Developing the agriculture sector will stop the youth from trying to pass through the Sahara Desert or Libya to Europe and dying in the process.
“Cocoa farmers are suffering despite the fact that cocoa has been the economy’s backbone for over 60 years now. We need to introduce new reforms, so that Ghana can record millionaires and billionaires who are cocoa farmers,” he said.
Board Chairman of EximBank Ghana, Kwadwo Boateng Genfi, expressed the board’s profound appreciation to the Okyehene – mentioning the wisdom with which the chief spoke and thanking him for the new ideas and knowledge that he shared.
Mr. Agyinsam added that EximBank, under the 1D1F, has established Sweet Potato and Pineapple processing factories in the Western Region, as well as two oil palm processing factories in Kumasi.
The board has also approved and disbursed funds for the establishment of Akuapim Diamond, an avocado processing factory, among others which will be rolled out soon.