Focus: One District, One Factory

Extreme Makeover: Industrial Edition

May. 22, 2018

Balancing the need for extensive financing and long-term commitment will not be an easy task; however, the prospects of reshaping the agricultural and manufacturing industries has so far convinced foreign and local investors to buy into the country's industrial makeover program. With a steady budget deficit reduction and falling inflation, Ghana is aiming to switch the trend and to move, autonomously, from an import-based economy to a value-added, production-based one. Despite IMF recommendations to remain with the Extended Credit Facility program, President Nana Akufo-Addo asserted, “It is time for Ghana and African countries take over their own responsibilities.”

To fulfill this Herculean task, Ghana developed an ambitious, thoroughly-structured economic plan that calls for a sustainable increased role of the private sector: the One District, One Factory plan. This heavy industrialization program has since become the signature policy of the newly-elected New Patriotic Party cabinet, as it seeks to become the mainstay of Ghana's economic growth for the mid- to long-term. As a matter of fact, the One District, One Policy program proposes to give to each of the 216 districts across the country a factory within the first four years of the administration's mandate. In this regard, the government has recently announced the approval of the Asempa Budget for the first 51 districts that will receive a factory. The Ekumfi Fruit Processing Factory will be the first factory to benefit from the USD2-billion Chinese Exim bank loan granted under this plan.
As mentioned by the CEO of Ghana Investment Promotion Center, Yofi Grant, the One District, One Factory program represents an ideal PPP opportunity. As proof of serious intent, only players who meet specifically outlined criteria will be allowed to take a stake in the program. Thus, projects have the capacity to replace an imported product, the potential to generate significant levels of employment in the district, and an investment size ranging between USD1 million and USD5 million. If there is a way to gain economic independence, the One District, One Factory plan is certainly a step in the right direction.