By the end of 2018, a total of 79 factories in nine regions will be at various stages of construction or operation under the One District One Factory (IDIF) initiative.
That’s according to the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta who presented the 2019 financial statement to Parliament on Thursday.
Under the theme: “Putting Ghana Back to Work” the Minister said the government will assiduously work towards industrializing the country’s economy by implementing one of its major campaign promises of putting up one factory in each of the country’s districts.
To this end, the Minister said the government will be riding on two major agriculture policies- Planting for Food and Jobs and Rearing for Food and Jobs- which will be the raw material to feed these factories when they are completed.
“Many of the supported factories are processing our agricultural produce into ready-to-consume forms that have previously largely been imported. In 2019, the scheme will continue to partner with private financial institutions to fund more factories expand the geographic reach of the programme. In particular, 1D1F will support feed mills and chicken processing facilities in the poultry industry,” he said.
The 1D1F is expected to stimulate the government’s industrialization drive and to ensure value addition to products for export.
That will boost Ghana’s foreign exchange earnings create jobs and provide stability to the country’s currency.
But almost two years after winning power, little has been seen or heard of the policy even though president Nana Akufo-Addo in August 2017 dug the ground for the Ekumfi Fruit and Juice Factory.
“…51 districts will start actual implementation of the enterprise by the end of the year , with the potential to generate a minimum of 80, 000 direct and indirect jobs…” the president promised during the sod cutting of the Ekumfi project.
But the figure was missed. The National Coordinator for the program, Gifty Ohene Konadu said the target was ignored because the government chose to pursue quality rather than quantity.
“…they [Ghanaians] want quality, they don’t just want anything because I promised one district one factory…we have to do something that will last for an appreciable time,” she said.
However, the government says it has received massive support and interest from private banks some of which have provided funding for some of the factories.
The Minister said 79 of those factories will be constructed and will be seen to be operating.
“Over the past 2 years, Government has laid strong foundations for industrialization through critical infrastructure investments and industrial programmes such as the One District One Factory (1D1F) programme, and the stimulus package for distressed industrial businesses,” he added.
Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Nathan Gadugah