Mahama pledges regional-centric industrial development plan


By Mohammed Awal ([email protected])

John Dramani Mahama has pledged to implement an industrial policy aimed at transitioning the economy from dependence on imports to a focus on exports should he regain the presidency in 2025.

According to the former President, this initiative will entail establishing agro-processing and industrial zones in every region, capitalising on their unique agricultural strengths.

“There is consensus that to provide a long-term solution to our economic challenges, we must work toward changing the structure of our economy. It is for this reason that I commit to partnering industry to develop and implement an industrial policy that will help transform our economy,” the flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) stated during an engagement with members of the Association Ghana Industries (AGI) in Accra.

Offering essential assistance

Mr. Mahama explained that his administration would, within this policy framework, provide vital support for large-scale agricultural ventures to achieve food self-sufficiency and supply essential raw materials to sustain industrial activities. Additionally, he plans to incentivise indigenous firms to dominate key sectors of the economy, aiming to minimise financial outflows caused by significant profit repatriation.

“We will work to revamp and reignite strategic industries such as the Volta Aluminum Company (VALCO) while boosting the production of rice, sugar, tomato, fish, poultry, meat and meat products, vegetable cooking oil and pharmaceutical products. Once local capacity in the production of these and many other products is achieved, we shall place restrictions on the unbridled importation,” he stated.

Industries based on comparative advantage

Within the framework of this industrial policy, Mr. Mahama affirmed that the upcoming NDC administration will back all 16 regions in fostering industries aligned with their comparative advantages. Additionally, they will collaborate with the private sector to set up industrial processing zones across various regions, focusing particularly on crops like palm, cashew, cotton, groundnuts, cocoa, soya, cassava, shea nut and others.

“All these will be integrated within the 24-Hour Economy policy. I am aware that many industries are producing far below their capacities due to constraints such as availability of raw materials, access to credit, high utility tariffs, high taxes, access to markets, among others. Under the 24-Hour Economy policy, government will work with the private sector to address challenges that constrain their production capacity. The 24-Economy policy will, therefore, help boost production for both domestic consumption and export while creating jobs for our teeming youth. We must achieve increased production in order that we can take advantage of the ETLS and the AfCFTA,” he stated.

He added that under the 24-Hour Economy, his administration would work to ensure that critical public sector services are provided round the clock to support businesses.

“In addition to providing a safe and secure environment for business transactions 24 hours through adequate street lighting and security patrols, there will be 24-hour operation at the ports, the Lands Commission, Office of the Registrar of Companies, our courts, among other critical public sector that must operate 24 hours to support businesses,” he said.

“Time is not on our side; the scale of the destruction of our economy is so colossal we must more than double our efforts by working 24 hours around the clock to restore our country to where it belongs,” he said.

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