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Friday, October 2, 2009


…raises concerns over closure of Shoe, Jute factories too

By Ernest Best Anane, Kumasi

THE ASANTEHENE Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has expressed displeasure at the undue delay in the implementation of the Boankra Inland Port Project, in spite of the fact that all the initial bottlenecks in the acquisition of the land have been removed.

The King is also not happy with the continued closure of the GIHOC shoe and jute factories in Kumasi, which had been divested and not operational for many years now.

He noted that these projects could create the much needed employment for Ghanaian youth, while facilitating transit trade to Ghana’s land-locked sister countries of Burkina Faso and Mali in the spirit of Intra-African Co-operation, as affirmed in the new partnership for Africa’s NEPAD initiative.

In a statement read on his behalf by Nana Adomako-Ansa, Ankaasehene and Krontihene of Amoafo Paramountcy during the sixth Ashanti Business Excellence Awards in Kumasi on Wednesday night, Otumfuo Osei Tutu lamented that as a historic leading Cocoa producing region in Ghana, it was unfortunate that Ashanti Region, could not boast of any Cocoa processing plant to add value to the Cocoa produced in the region. He appealed to the government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry to speed up the implementation of the Boankra inland Port Project.

The Asantehene indicated that the Suame Magazine industrial Development Organization (SMIDO) and the proposed Cocoa processing factory to be constructed by the Ghana Cocoa Board in Kumasi, and the divestiture of the GIHOC Shoe and the Jute Factories are major concerns to Asanteman.

He urged financial institutions to accept the challenge and to devise innovative strategies to mobilize funds internally, to support Ghana’s business sector and minimize the adverse effects of the global recession on Ghana’s economy.

Mr. Kofi Opoku-Manu, the Ashanti Regional Minister, who was the Guest Speaker expressed his gratitude to organizers of the event and pledged the government’s commitment to support the private sector, since the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Social and environmental development.

The Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr. John Gyetuah, who represented the sector Minister, Ms. Hannah Tetteh, also indicated that the vital roles of the private sector in driving economic and social transformation is well known and recognized all over the world, hence the commitment of the Atta Mills-led government to invest in the people.

This, he said, would include directing resources to ensure that domestic investors and local entrepreneurs could expand their operations or create new business, which would result in the creation of more jobs, since Ghana has an economy that is largely driven by natural resource endowments, which lend itself better to labour-intensive production which is a significant job creation.

The Minister, however, noted that building a competitive private sector requires a well functioning public sector, prudent public expenditure management, as well as developed infrastructure, a stable Macro-economy and skilled work force.


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