A $400-million credit facility is to be released to Ghana by the China National Building Material (CNBM) Corporation to support the establishment of 22 factories under the government’s One-district, One-factory (1D1F) initiative.
The credit facility is being sourced from major Chinese financial institutions by the government as part of efforts to give more meaning to the implementation of its 1D1F policy.
At least four local banks have been selected to serve as intermediaries between the Chinese entity and local businessmen and women to execute the projects.
Some of the 22 projects, to be set up in all the 10 regions, will be involved in the production or processing of starch, garment, soya beans, soya milk, diapers, alcohol, maize and rice.
As part of the arrangements, the CNBM will supply equipment and machinery to the business promoters, while the local financial institutions, comprising the National Investment Bank (NIB), the Universal Merchant Bank (UMB), the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) and the Barclays Bank, will facilitate the disbursement of the facility to investors.
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To consolidate the partnership, a ceremony was held in Accra on Wednesday, at which agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) were signed by the government, the Chinese company and the financial institutions.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, signed the framework agreement for the execution of the projects, while the President of the CNBM, Mr Chen Yongxin, initialled for the Chinese company.
At the event, Mr Yongxin also signed two separate MoUs with the financial institutions and the private business promoters for the implementation of the projects.
Present at the ceremony were the National Coordinator of the 1D1F Secretariat, Mrs Gifty Ohene-Konadu; the Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Dr Poku Adusei, and officials from the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The government launched a 10-point industrial transformation agenda on August14, 2017.
The 1D1F initiative is part of the industrial agenda and seeks to ensure that at least one factory is established in each of the 216 districts.
So far, 700 business proposals have been submitted by investors to the 1D1F Secretariat, out of which 602 proposals have been reviewed and 313 designated as bankable or feasible projects.
Explaining details of the MoUs, Mr Kyerematen said funding for 10 of the 22 projects would be facilitated by the CNBM and the Chinese financial institutions directly, while the remaining 12 would be joint ventures between metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) and the business promoters.
“The signing of these agreements has paved the way for the importation of equipment and machinery to carry out the projects, which have six months liable rates and 2.8 per cent interest,” he said.
He added that partnership funding from the government or the MMDAs for projects which would be executed through joint ventures would not exceed 30 per cent of the cost.
Mr Kyerematen urged all partners who would be involved in the implementation of the 1D1F to be diligent in their activities to ensure that the policy would achieve its intended purpose.
“I want to reiterate that everything possible will be done to ensure that the factories are established as promised by the government because we believe that the policy will help expand rural economies and stop the drifting of people from the rural areas to the urban centres,” he said.
For his part, Mr Yongxin said the CNBM was ready to provide the necessary equipment and machinery towards the successful implementation of the projects.
He said the company would cooperate with the stakeholders and the government to overcome the challenges that might confront the projects.