The government is working on plans to develop an industrial city in the Ashanti Region to be known as the Kumasi Industrial City and Special Economic Zone.
Currently, it is working on a public private partnership (PPP) arrangement to translate the plan into reality.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, who made this known in an interview on the sidelines of the UK-Ghana Investment Summit in London, said the industrial city would be the melting pot for industrial development for all the regions in Ghana, as well as the Sahelian countries across the borders.
Touching on how the new city and special economic zone would be created, Mr Kyerematen said the new model approach to the industrial park was to invite investors to invest in the parks, while the government provided the right incentives to make the parks attractive for them.
“Already I am encouraged, because the response has been phenomenal. Now there are about four major private sector operators, who on their own, are investing in these industrial parks,” he said.
Explaining how industrialisation fits into the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda, Mr Kyerematen said Ghana was embarking on a new transformational pathway that would make it less dependent on aid.
“Ghana Beyond Aid was not a mere slogan but was intended to make the country develop as a self-reliant, self-sustaining and a prosperous nation since that is the only way you will not depend on aid,” the minister said.
The Trade and Industry Minister stated further that Ghana Beyond Aid had three major components, the first of which was to develop a strong micro-economic framework.
He explained that the second component was not about the government establishing state enterprises but rather it supporting business promoters to establish at least one major industrial enterprise in each district, based on the comparative advantage and natural resource endowment in each district.
“Ghana has depended on cocoa and gold for over 100 years. We cannot move into the next century still talking only about cocoa, so we have identified a number of new growth poles which we believe should drive Ghana Beyond Aid.
Mr Kyerematen noted that the third component was the industrial transformation plan, with 10 different pillars that would constitute the anchor for the whole vision of Ghana Beyond Aid.
“The first pillar under the industrial transformation plan is to support local companies that are distressed. This is because, if you want to attract foreign investors into your country, the first litmus test is how the local companies are faring, so the government is putting a stimulus package to support existing companies that are distressed but which we believe are viable,” he said.
He indicated that the one-district, one-factory policy was the second pillar under the plan and explained that the initiative was intended to bring industrialisation to the doorstep of the average Ghanaian, hence the support of the government for the private sector in all 216 districts of the country.