The objective underlying the One District One Factory programme of the government, spearheaded by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, is the transformation of the industrial landscape of the country through a deliberate effort of providing incentives to realize the set target.
The government has thus provided an incentive regime that includes tax waivers on importation of plant and machinery, tax holidays for companies enrolled on the programme, provision of technical support services, and a flexible interest regime for the programme, among others.
The hope is that all the support given by the companies will spur them on to be able to create the much-needed jobs for the teeming youth in the country, especially within the rural and peri-urban communities.
In the Western Region, twenty-eight (28) projects have been approved and linked to participating banks of promoters choice in nine (9) Districts under the One District One Factory (1D1F) initiative with five (5) in operation in the region.
The five in operation includes GKV for the production of virgin coconut oil at Eshiem in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis (STMA), Keda Ceramics for the production of ceramic products at Aboadze in the Shama District and Narubiz Limited for processing of natural rubber to technical specify rubber at Dompin in the Wassa East District.
The rest are Ghana Rubber Estate Limited (GREL) for the processing of natural rubber at Agona Nkwanta in the Ahanta West Municipality and Amenfi Farms Limited for the production of starch from cassava at Wassa Akropong in the Amenfi East District.
One of the factories doing so well under the initiative is the Keda Ghana Limited which produces Twyford Ceramic Tiles using locally available raw material such as clay, as the major input in the manufacture of the products.
In 2019, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Keda was able to export 7,156,800 meter square of ceramics amounting to USD22.9 Million, which increased to 10,540,800 meter square in 2020 and raked in USD34.8 Million. The projection for this year’s export is expected to hit 12,355,200 metric square with USD39.5 Million as foreign exchange generation.
The total investment of the projects is estimated at USD 150 million and the Government has provided exemption in the area of equipment, machinery and construction materials among others to enhance the operations of the company.
The company has so far provided employment estimated at more than two thousand (2,000), directly and indirectly for both the first phase and second phase. This figure is expected to increase to more than five thousand (5,000) in 2022.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his recent visit commissioned the third phase and at the same time cut the sod for the commencement of the 4th phase of the project.
He was very enthused about the fast progress and expansion of the company and said that the expertise of Keda Ceramics and the reputation for its best qualities has positioned the company to be competitive not only in Ghana but the whole of West Africa.
The President commended the promoters for having confidence in the Government and the Ghanaian economy and assured them of Government’s continuous support to expand operations and take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
A deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Michael Okyere Baafi also noted that the success story of Keda Ceramics was a testament to the fact that with a friendly business environment and the appropriate incentives, such as pertains under the 1D1F flagship programme, homegrown companies can compete on the global market.
This, he said is because the company was currently exporting its products to most West African countries and was seeking to enter the wide continental market.
Another factory under the 1D1F initiative that is worth mentioning is Narubiz Limited, for processing of natural rubber to technical specify rubber which is owned by three (3) shareholders, each of them having a rubber plantation of 200 acres and more, who took the bold step to establish this facility to process rubber for export.
Narubiz is a 100% Ghanaian owned company with a current capacity to process 20 tons per day of processed rubber for export to Turkey, Malaysia, and Hong Kong and expects to export a total volume of 6,240 tons of processed rubber per year amounting to USD9.6 Million of foreign exchange into the economy.
So far, the total investment for the facility is USD$2.1 Million with Ghana Commercial Bank providing a USD1.38 Million loan facility to the company. The facility currently offers direct employment for 85 employees and is indirectly linked to 1,260 people including out-growers, latex harvesters, farm maintenance workers, transporters etc.
The company is sourcing its raw materials from Western, Western North and Central Regions and this is going to boost rubber production in these catchment areas. The factory was also commissioned by President Akufo-Addo in his recent visit to the region.
The President said the Government through the Ministry of Trade & Industry has supported Narubiz with interest subsidies, exemption on machinery and equipment as well as a transformer for the smooth operations of the company.
He noted that with the Auto Sector picking up in the country, the project was going to play a critical role in Ghana’s quest to develop a vibrant auto industry and that other promoters in the value chain can therefore establish processing lines for vehicle tyres, engine seats, fan belts, etc. which were all derivates of the finished product from Narubiz.