Nearly half of the businesses that are expected to start operations under the One District, One Factory (1D1F) will focus mainly on agro-processing.
According to the Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay: “About 46 percent of the businesses that are bankable are agro-processing companies; and we shouldn’t be surprised, given that our natural endowment is still predominantly agriculture-based”.
He however explained that there are other ventures, such as doors, windows and pharmaceuticals, which are part of the successful entities identified.
The Trade Ministry, he said, is facilitating the acquisition of equipment for some of the selected companies from trade partners such as China, Italy, America, Canada and India among others.
“But at the end of the day, facilitation is an option; no one route is going to fit everything and we will continue to do that,” he told B&FT in an interview during an engagement with MMDCEs from the Greater Accra Region and heads of government institutions in Accra.
The financial institutions have so far committed about GH₵2.5billion toward supporting the programme. The delay in starting operations by some of the companies, according to Mr. Ahomka-Lindsay, was to allow these financial institutions to undertake due diligence on some of them.
Mr. Ahomka-Lindsay also said the target for the year is to ensure that at least 100 businesses have gone beyond the due diligence stage and commenced operations.
The companies are supposed to have not less than 80 percent local ownership in sectors like agro-processing, manufacturing, livestock, beverage production and wood-processing.
Over the past 14 months, the One District, One Factory Secretariat has been working to ensure that the District Implementation Support Teams (DIST) are well-versed and equipped to help companies which have their finances ready to set up a factory in one district or another.
The MMDCEs are expected to provide infrastructural support in the form of land, water, electricity, to attract potential investors into the various districts.
He also added that government has set a target for the MMDCEs to achieve five (5) projects by June 2019.
Already, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has engaged the District Implementation Support Teams in seven regions, with the DISTs in the three northern regions to be engaged soon.
The One District, One Factory Programme was instituted by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to address the challenge of slow economic growth at the district level, through a massive nationwide industrialisation drive that will equip and empower communities to utilise their local resources to manufacture products which are in high demand both locally and internationally.
The programme is expected to facilitate the creation of between 7,000 to 15,000 jobs per district, and between 1.5 million and 3.2 million nationwide by the end of 2020.