The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) has bemoaned the concentration of the factories to be set up by the private sector under the ‘One District, One Factory’ initiative in few regions.
The sector Minister, Mr Alan Kyerematen, said although the private sector had showed massive interest in the industrialisation agenda with over 700 business proposals submitted, the dispersion was uneven, with the northern regions of the country being the most affected.
“Right now, we have significant response from the private sector for the One-District, One-Factory initiative; over 700 business proposals that have come in.
“Regrettably though, the dispersion of interest is not even. So from northern Ghana, there are fewer indications of interest,” he said at an industrialisation session at the UK- Ghana investment summit in Accra.
He said in every district, town or community, there was some kind of natural resource endowment which could become the stimulus for economic activity in that particular district.
“Under normal circumstances, it did not require government to bring this to the attention of Ghanaians, but that is what governments are for.
If you have the vision, you provide the signal and the policy direction and then the support and the incentive and then the private sector can respond to that,” he said.
Business regulatory reforms
Mr Kyerematen said the government was introducing a number of business regulatory reforms, which would among other things promote even and spatial distribution of industries under the One-District, One-Factory initiative.
He said the regulatory environment of any country remains a concern for investors and as such Ghana was currently implementing a comprehensive programme for business regulatory reforms with six different components.
It comprises targeted interventions at the level of all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) aimed at improving performance in the World Bank “Ease of Doing Business” index.
Again, the reforms will look at the introduction of a public consultation web portal on business regulation to provide access to all individuals to comment on the implementation of any business related regulation.
He also added that another component would focus on the implementation of a rolling regulatory review mechanism, the introduction of a regulatory impact assessment programme to be implemented in each MDA by regulatory impact units and the adoption of a special programme to provide targeted regulatory relief for small and medium enterprises (SMEs.)
Part of the reforms, he said, included the establishment of an E- Registry, which would document all business related laws, regulations, policy directives and administrative notices among others.
“This is important because it ensures openness and transparency. We do not want an investor to go to a ministry and a civil servant determines what policy he or she decides on,” he explained.
Mr Kyerematen explained that the strategic objectives of the industrial policy were aimed at job creation and export diversification.
It will also look at providing targeted support to companies investing in Ghana to compete with imports, as well as promoting Ghanaian participation and collaboration in foreign commercial transactions through joint ventures, technology licensing, subcontracting, franchise arrangements and others.
He also noted that these reforms would also use the power of government procurement to support local investments and invest in new strategic anchor industries as new growth poles of the Ghanaian economy.
“It will also look at promoting the establishment of industrial parks and special economic zones to enhance the eco-system for industrial activity and revitalising domestic industries by providing stimulus support,” he said.
He said significant market access opportunities abound in the country because it had a vibrant domestic market made up of both organised and informal distribution and retail market structures and channels throughout the country.