Ambassador Joao Quiosa, Angola’s Ambassador to Ghana, has endorsed the government’s One District One Factory Policy initiative (1D1F) as the prime effort towards an industrial revolution within the country and the African continent as a whole.
He said the 1D1F rested on the philosophy of local based value addition to local produce, and which was the lifeline to the continental free trade effort.
The Ambassador was addressing the business community in the Volta Region at a breakfast meeting in Ho on Monday, and which was on the theme “Boosting the Trade Between Volta Region and Angola for the African Continental Free Trade Area”.
“It’s time we trade among ourselves, and that is what AFCTA means. Let keep Africa’s wealth within Africa and the first step is what I see here in Ghana and I am so proud that Ghana is leading Africa in this.
“One District One Factory! Let’s start that first step. Let’s not think of Giant corporations but let’s start it. In every district we have a factory. It means that we are giving value added necessary steps to our produce.
“Angola is exporting fish to Ghana; that’s a start, but that is not where it should start. Ghana is producing chocolate, which is a step beyond cocoa. Start exporting the chocolate to Africa. It’s what we need,” Ambassador Ouiosa stated.
He said the establishment and promotion of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA) attested to a new era of political will in Africa, and called for support from all.
“We now have a political will in Africa, which was not existing before. The African leaders have come together and approved AFCTA. So, we now have the political will for trade to really take off.
“Africa is the greatest continent, but also the youngest continent. We are the future, but the first step is we need to unite as trading partners. The political will has been set by our leaders, and I am so impressed with Ghana’s One District One Factory. It’s a start and is something we should take all over Africa,” the Ambassador stated.
/ Mr. Ouiosa called to consider the development of indigenous industries with a focus on easily attainable job opportunities for all, saying, “It’s the simple things that we have in Africa that will grant us jobs.
“They don’t have to be high-tech jobs but we need jobs for everyone. Every small corner of Africa should be producing something you can sell. Not exporting to Europe, not exporting to China. Let’s produce and sell,” he added.
The Ambassador was on a three-day visit to the Volta Region, during which he scanned opportunities for mutual development of Ghana and Angola.
With him was Lui Livramento, who is Chief Negotiator and also Trade Counsellor of the Angolan Embassy, and who presented opportunities along bilateral trade to stakeholders at the meeting.
The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) Volta, Eastern and Oti Chapter facilitated the meeting, and present were regional heads of various department and agencies connected to trade and industrialization, and also leaders of major industries in the Region.
Ambassador Quiosa said Angola had advanced intent towards visa exemption with Ghana, and was hopeful Parliament would bring it to fruition.
He added that the national airline of Angola, would this year begin direct flights to Ghana, and said plans were also in motion to establish direct shipping routes to the Nation’s Sea ports.
Mr. Dela Gadzanku, Chairman of the Volta Eastern and Oti Chapters of the AGI,said the Association sought to use the visit to strengthen business relations not just with the Region, but also with Ghana as a whole.