The Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Robert Ahomka-Lindsay has said government will ‘move heaven and earth’ to deliver the One District, One Factory (1D1F) initiative before end of 2020,
He noted that, already, in Greater Accra there are 19 businesses that have gone past credit control and are ready to start.
Over 700 business plans were received by the Ministry of Trade and Industry as well as the One District, One Factory secretariat last year, of which 600 were analyzed and according to the deputy minister 319 of those were bankable.
During an engagement with MMDCEs from the Greater Accra Region and other heads of government institutions in Accra, the deputy minister said, “The bankable businesses are those we believe have the potential to raise capital. So, toward the end of last year we shared all of these businesses with a number of financial institutions that we have been working with.”
He added that, the financial institutions have committed over GHC2.5billion toward supporting the programme, and the delay in some of the companies taking off, the minister explained, was to allow these financial institutions to undertake due diligence.
Mr. Ahomka-Lindsay also said the target for the year is to ensure that at least 100 businesses have gone beyond due diligence 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 and government have been working to ensure that the District Implementation Support Teams (DIST) are well-versed and equipped to help companies that 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 three Northern Regions to be engaged soon.
Also, the Asante-Akim North District Assembly has acquired a 20,000 acre stretch of land for the construction of a cassava processing factory at Agogo.
Mr. Francis Oti Boateng, the District Chief Executive (DCE), said this formed part of the government’s “One-District One-Factory (1D1F)” programme.
Eight thousand (8,000) acres of the land are now being cleared for the planting of cassava – the raw material to feed the factory.
The DCE has inspected the progress of work and said it was going to process cassava into flour and other products.
He also spoke of plans to establish industries to produce alcoholic beverages, water melon juice and tomato paste and said they were awaiting approval by the Secretariat overseeing the implementation of the 1D1F.
The assembly has launched a special initiative under which 30,000 cashew seedlings would be distributed to farmers for planting this season to boost cashew production in the district.
Mr. Boating said they would continue to work hard to woo more investors to establish businesses in the area to create wealth and jobs for the people.
Already, a pineapple processing plant has been commissioned to start operation under the initiative at Ekumfi in the Central region.
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 end of 2020.