AGI wants more industrial parks

The leadership of AGI and Appolonia after signing the agreement

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) says it is open to more partnerships with either public or private investors to create industrial parks that have litigation-free lands and have the required infrastructure that enables businesses to thrive.

“One of the key reasons industries are scattered around instead of concentrated in a proper enclave is because of the land tenure system. You go to buy a land here and there are problems with ownership, with land guards harassing you. Infrastructure including utilities and roads are not guaranteed or non-existent,” said Humphrey Ayim-Darke, Vice-President of the AGI.

Speaking at the official signing of the agreement between AGI and Appolonia City to build an industrial park within the large-scale urban development, Mr. Ayim-Darke said such an industrial park “makes it easy to do business”.

Mr. Ayim-Darke noted that industries struggle to establish or expand their factories due to key challenges; including access to litigation-free lands, utilities, quality roads and other transportation amenities, and access to services and markets.

But the coming onstream of the 1,000 acre Appolonia City land designated for use by some of Ghana’s leading manufacturing and industrial companies will provide significant employment opportunities for the area.

“If there are more opportunities like this, we feel that it will help industries create the jobs needed. We [AGI] are always looking for the right partners. As long as you meet our partnership terms, we will walk into it,” he told B&FT after the signing ceremony.

He noted that Appolonia City’s 1,000 acres industrial park is not enough to host all industry players, and therefore more of such mixed-use, infrastructure and market-ready facilities will be needed.

“This is not only for Ghanaians but foreigners as well, so once services offered meet our standards and quality we are willing to look into other packages. Personally, I find this an exciting offer,” he added.

He noted that signing this agreement aligns with government’s drive to establish multi-purpose industrial parks in each of the 10 regions of Ghana. “We believe Appolonia City is an ideal location and the creation of this park will provide industrial growth, spreading economic activities within Greater Accra and beyond,” he said.

He also encouraged government to grant Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status to this project, ensuring an additional level of economic impact to the region.  Earlier this month, the Accra chapter of the AGI endorsed Appolonia City as the best real estate development in the country, after assessing their facilities during a working visit.

Bright Owusu-Amofah, Appolonia City’s CEO said: “AGI is recognised as the leading representative of Ghana’s private sector. Our partnership with AGI means that businesses will now have a dedicated base for their operations within a controlled and secure environment. We have the appropriate infrastructure at Appolonia City, and we are able to develop build-to-suit structures for industrial tenants”.

He noted that signing such an agreement is the beginning of something great about to happen. “It is a testament that we are doing something right, and we are delighted to partner AGI. This industrial park will be the foremost in the country. We will offer businesses the quality of services that Appolonia is known for,” he said.

He also charged the private sector to ensure that government’s quest to industrialise the economy is realised.

With an expected 88,000 residents on completion and tens of thousands of employment opportunities during construction, Appolonia City is a driving force in the economy of the Kpone-Katamanso district. In recognition of this, the government of President Akufo-Addo has indicated that road infrastructure to the area will continue to be upgraded as a priority.