Developmental work is to begin in earnest on the 1,099-acre Free Zones Authority land located at Boankra, Ampabame, Edwenase, Abenase, Donaso, Hwereso and Aduakorokyere, all in the Ejisu Traditional Area.
The land was acquired in 2005 as one of Ghana’s Export Processing Zones under the Free Zones Authority, and is set to receive the needed facelift as Ghana positions itself as an Export Hub within the sub-region.
On completion, the project will pave the way for companies operating within some priority sectors to set up for operation. Priority sectors will include Cocoa Processing, Light Industrial Manufacturing, Heavy Industrial Manufacturing, Warehousing, Logistics, Services and a Cyber village. Additionally, development of the Boankra site will pave the way for establishing a Social Services Centre and a Bio-Technology Centre in Greater Kumasi.
The funding is part of a World Bank facility extended to Ghana to develop the Greater Kumasi Industrial Park.
As part of efforts to get the project started on time, the World Bank engaged consultants in partnership with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to undertake several exercises: including site assessment, best practice benchmarking, environmental and social impact assessment. On-ground inspection is scheduled to start from October 2021.
During a fact-finding visit to the Ashanti Region, Mr. Michael Oquaye and his team toured the site to gather first-hand information on the activities of encroachers who have erected illegal structures on the land.
Subsequently, Mr. Oquaye met with the Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon Simon Osei-Mensah. The two discussed areas of mutual interest, particularly issues relating to the planned industrial drive and challenges posed to the land by encroachers on the site.
Hon Osei-Mensah committed to supporting the Ghana Free Zones Authority as it works toward achieving the presidents vision for Industrialisation and Job-creation.
Speaking to journalists after the visit, Mr. Oquaye stated that: “Our checks from the Ejisu Municipality and Regional Ministers’ office indicate that no permit was issued for private development on the said land. Thus, these people are occupying the land illegally”.
He added that government has signed an MoU with SinoHydro of China for the Greater Kumasi Industrial City and Special Economic Zones. The project, when completed, will help grow Ghana’s economy and create at least 5,000 direct jobs and over 12,000 indirect jobs.
“The president is committed to developing the Ejisu Industrial Zone, and we must work within the given timelines. Therefore, we will set plans in motion to ensure that all illegal structures on the site are demolished to pave the way for development,” he concluded