The 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has assured Ghanaians that victory for him and the NPP in the December 7 elections will mean the country will be put at the forefront of the industrialisation efforts of West Africa.
According to Mr Akufo-Addo, his administration would oversee the mining of the vast and untapped bauxite deposits in Kyebi, Atiwa plains and Nyinahin, and through the building of an integrated aluminium industry, add value to the country’s bauxite deposits.
This, he explained, would facilitate the export of manufactured aluminium products, a vision which has been envisaged for several decades, stressing: “The time has come for us to move our industrial development forward.”
The three-time presidential candidate was addressing a gathering at Nkawkaw, the venue for the party’s Eastern Regional Rally, the last of the regional rallies, on Wednesday, November 30, 2016, when he made this known.
The establishment of the Integrated Aluminium Industry, Nana Akufo-Addo explained, will provide thousands of jobs for the teeming masses of unemployed Ghanaian youth resident in the Eastern Region, and across the country.
“There must be jobs in our country. The lack of jobs, which is the case under this government, poses a threat to the future stability of our country. We have put in place programmes to make sure we create jobs and prosperity for our youth so they can also stand on their own feet, thereby securing the peace and stability of our country. That is the task we have put before ourselves. We want to construct a bright future for the Ghanaian people,” he added.
In addition to this, Nana Akufo-Addo reiterated his commitment of helping to establish at least one factory in each of the 216 districts across the country.
“We have completed the surveys, and already at least 300 projects have been identified across the 216 districts of Ghana. Marketing plans, and markets for the products are being worked out. What is needed is that on the 7th December, you give me the opportunity to implement this programme (1-District-1-Factory),” he said.
The industrialisation of the Ghanaian economy, Mr Akufo-Addo has already indicated, “is going to help us in many ways, by generating wealth and development across the country” stating: “We will stop this ‘Accra-Kumasi’ centred development. It is dangerous for the future of our country. In doing so, we will revive the lives of our districts and regions, and stop this potentially dramatic exodus of young people towards the city centres.”
To this end, and in giving a boost to the establishment of these industries, the NPP flag bearer has committed his government to the abolition of import duties on raw materials and manufacturing equipment, and the reduction of corporate income tax from the current 25 per cent to 20 per cent, to make sure that Ghanaian enterprises are competitive.
In the midst of all these policy initiatives, the NPP flag bearer has indicated that the country’s fiscal balance would also have to be firmly put in place through the enactment of a Fiscal Responsibility Act, which will set out specific relationships between government expenditure and national reserves, to make sure that the economy is always within the fiscal balance.
The “1-District-1-Factory” policy, which is an integral part of the NPP’s agenda to industrialise the country, according to Mr Akufo-Addo, will compliment a number of “strategic, arch industries” to be established, in partnership with the private sector.
“We want to reposition the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre to focus its attention on attracting investment, both domestic and foreign, into these strategic industries – iron and steel, cement, bauxite and aluminium, petrochemical industry, vehicle assembly and the manufacture of machine parts and equipment”, insisting: “These are going to be the industries for which we are going to anchor our industrial development.”