The government has initiated moves to revamp the defunct Ameen Sangari factory in Cape Coast under the One District, One Factory (1D1F) industrialization drive.
Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, the Central Regional Minister, who announced this, said the government’s commitment to revive the oldest factory in the area was a manifestation of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s shift from consumption to the productive sectors of the country.
The shift from consumption to production, she indicated, would be achieved through investments in sectors with comparative advantage to create jobs, reduce trade imbalances and boost the local economy.
Mrs Assan was speaking at her maiden meeting with heads of decentralized departments in the region on Wednesday.
The forum allowed the Minister to share her vision and to officially introduce herself to the heads of department in the region to get their support to facilitate development.
The intervention by the government followed earlier calls by well-meaning indigenes and the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industries (GNCCI) to provide the company with a stimulus package or financial support to address its production challenges.
The Chamber, in particular, said reviving the company’s operations was critical, especially amid COVID-19 where every country was concentrating on their local industries to revive their economies.
The Lebanese-owned Company, which aside from soap and palm kernnel oil production, also processes teak trees into electricity poles.
The company had more than 540 workers in 2015 but currently has about 100.
Mrs Assan said through the 1D1F Secretariat, the Region had benefited from four 1D1F initiatives, providing 900 direct and 26,000 indirect jobs across the Region.
She mentioned other moves by the government to create jobs and sustain businesses through the National Board for Small Scale Industry (NBSSI), Nation Builder’s Corps (NABCO), Youth Employment Agency (YEA), among others, as opportunities for the youth to become economically self-supporting.
She said Ghana’s industrial sector had emerged as a significant driver of growth in recent years as the country leverages its abundant natural resources to diversify the economy and attract investment.
Industrial development and import substitution underscore major projects and initiatives throughout the sector and the government has simultaneously implemented business reforms and fiscal measures to tackle structural challenges and improve investor confidence.
Mr Kingsley Agyei Boahen, the Regional Coordinating Director, congratulated the Minister for her new portfolio and rallied the support of all to enable her to succeed and make the Region an enviable economic giant.