The regional tours of President Akufo-Addo have seen him commissioning at least six factories, mostly from scratch, as part of the effort to bring back industrialisation of the country.
The NPP administration of which he leads has set up the One District One Factory (1D1F) Secretariat to serve as a vehicle for the industrialisation effort targeted at unemployment and accelerated economic growth.××
And since the beginning of September, President Akufo-Addo has commissioned about six of the factories in five regions.
On September 3, 2021, the President commissioned a $2.1 million rubber processing plant at Wassa Dompim in the Wassa East District of the Western Region.
The company called Narubiz Rubber Factory, which is a 100% Ghanaian ownership and operating under the 1D1F initiative, has the capacity to process 20 tonnes of rubber per day for export to countries such as Turkey, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.
It is expected that a total of 6,240 tonnes of processed rubber per year will be exported which will generate some $9.6 million of foreign exchange for the country.
President Akufo-Addo said GCB Bank had provided a $1.38 million loan facility to the company and was also enjoying import duty exemptions on plant, equipment, and machinery from government which among other incentives, have been designed to boost the competitiveness of the companies operating under the 1D1F programme supervised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Phase 3 KEDA Ceramics Factory
In Shama in the Western Region, the President commissioned the phase 3 of the KEDA Ceramics Factory, which construction started in September 2019 and completed in June 2021.
The factory has generated some 2,000 direct and 5,000 indirect employment opportunities.
The company has invested some $150 million in all three phases, resulting in an increased production capacity of 150,000 square metres of tiles per day.
Currently, it exports 60% of tiles produced to the West African market.
On September 5, the President again commissioned a GH¢6.7 million rice processing factory at Sefwi Akontombra as part of his tour of the Western-North Region.
The rice factory is a state-of-the-art facility with the capacity to produce between 1.5 and 2.8 tonnes of processed rice per hour.
The processing plants at the factory include modern parboiling, milling and packaging plants.
The firm also has a standby generator plant and a mechanised borehole to supply water to the facility, besides a fully furnished office accommodation for staff, a conference room, laboratory and a canteen/kitchen.
The factory, which was constructed under the One District One Factory Common User Facility (CUF), is an agro-based factory established by the Rural Enterprises Programme (REP) under the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
It has 118 people working there, including management professionals, factory floor workers and plantation workers on a nucleus rice farm.
In addition, over 600 farmers from Sefwi Akontombra District and neighbouring communities will be directly engaged to supply paddy rice for processing.
With funding from the African Development Bank, the REP has established five of these CUFs nationwide.
The 1D1F CUF factories are located in Savelugu (rice processing); Nkran Nkwanta in the Dormaa West District of the Bono Region (rice processing); Akontombra in the Sefwi Akontombra District of the Western North Region (rice processing); Dompim in the Tarkwa Nsueam Municipality of the Western Region (oil palm processing); and in Nsuta in the Sekyere Central District of the Ashanti Region (maize processing).
The Sefwi Akontombra CUF is expected to be owned by farmer-based organisations and other value chain actors within the selected commodities.
President Akufo-Addo on September 9, 2021 also commissioned CH Global Limited, a cassava and yam processing factory at Addo Nkwanta in the Krachi East District of the Oti Region.
With GH¢10 million support from Ghana EXIM Bank, the facility is expected to process yam into frozen chips and yam balls under the brand name CH Foods, and will take advantage of available local raw materials in the catchment areas.
The first phase of the project is estimated to process an average of 120 tubers of yam per hour, which will result in 60 bags of processed frozen yam chips and yam balls, and will require an annual production of 216,000 tubers of yam.
The implementation of phase two of the project is scheduled to start in 2022 and will introduce a cassava processing line for the production of cassava fries and snacks, with a capacity to process 700 metric tonnes of cassava per year.
The promoters told President Akufo-Addo 254 people would be employed by the factory under phase one, whilst the phase two will also create a significant number of direct and indirect jobs for the youth in and around the district.
The President took a break in mid-September and travelled to New York, United States to attend the 76th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 76) which opened on Tuesday, September 14.
Back from the United States, the President moved to the Ashanti Region on October 2 where he visited the premises of Darko Farms, the oldest private and largest poultry farm in Ghana.
The operations of Darko Farms have been revamped by government’s 1D1F initiative after the firm’s production went down due to major challenges in the domestic poultry industry in the late 1990s.
As part of government’s Industrial Transformation Agenda, Darko Farms Company was identified as one of the distressed but potentially viable companies and in 2017, applied to be part of the flagship 1D1F programme.
The Ghana EXIM Bank loaned the company GH¢22.1 million. Darko Farms is back on its wheels, processing 10,000 birds per day with one shift, and 20,000 birds per day with two shifts.
It has a hatchery with capacity to produce 6 million day-old chicks a year, breeder farms with a bird population of about 30,000 per batch, a layer farm with capacity of 100,000 per batch, and commercial broiler farms with capacity of 350,000 birds per cycle of eight weeks.
It also has a feed mill with an installed capacity of 96 metric tonnes of feed per day, and a storage cold room of 500 metric tonnes.
The President was told that Darko Farms had created direct jobs for some 250 workers, and indirectly engaged over 500 people, including out-growers, distributors, and transporters.
At full operation, the company will directly employ more than 400 workers and 700 indirect jobs.
On October 5, President Akufo-Addo commissioned Maa Grace Company Ltd, a garment manufacturing company in Koforidua in the New Juabeng North Municipality of the Eastern Region, under the 1D1F initiative.
The company specialises in the production of utility clothing, uniforms for security forces, hospital scrubs, uniforms for hotels, uniforms for schools and production of standardised uniforms.
Equipped with 600 industrial machines, and with the support from the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ghana EXIM Bank, the company was able to export 20,000 and 80,000 units per month, in 2019 and 2020 respectively, of hospital scrubs and uniforms for chefs to the United States.
The company commenced operations in 2003 under the government of former President John Agyekum Kufuor.
However, its operations went down upon the exit of the Kufuor-led Government. In 2017, it applied to be placed under the 1D1F programme and was resuscitated.
Maa Grace Limited was one of the leading garment companies that produced over 2 million face masks, 18,000 hospital gowns and head covers, as well as 12,000 medical scrubs within a short time, a classic example of government’s import substitution strategy, which is one of the strategic objectives of the 1D1F initiative.
On October 6, the President commissioned Shoe Fabriek Limited, a GH¢6.2 million shoe manufacturing company operating under the 1D1F at Akropong in the Akuapem North District of the Eastern Region.
The state-of-the-art factory is fitted with the requisite infrastructure and equipment capable of producing 800 pairs of high-quality shoes, including security boots, school shoes and casual shoes for men, women, and children, per day.
Shoe Fabriek has, so far, created 144 jobs in the district.
As at September, 278 projects were at various stages of implementation under the 1D1F initiative.
Out of this number, 104 are currently in operation, 150 are under construction and 24 are at the mobilisation stage.
One hundred and sixty-five (165) out of the 278 are new projects, representing 60%, whilst 113 companies are existing projects being supported, representing 40%.
The President, commissioning the Akropong factory said, “My critics are being shamed one after the other. They said we won’t be able to deliver the One District One Factory promise but now everywhere I visit, I see some of the factories working.”
He added, “When I said I was bringing the Free Senior High School policy, they rejected it outrightly, saying it wasn’t possible, but it has come to stay.”