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WRCF and GNCC create platform for local Businesses, Government and communities to explore options for maximising benefits from One District, One Factory Initiative

Takoradi, W/R, 5 October 2017 - The Western Region Coastal Foundation (WRCF), in collaboration with the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce –Sekondi/Takoradi, held a Learning Conference today, at the Best Western Plus Atlantic Hotel in Takoradi with the theme: “Leveraging Lessons from the Oil Sector, to Maximise Opportunities from the One District, One Factory Initiative”

The conference, which was chaired by Nana Kobena Nketsia V, Omanhene of Esikado Traditional Area, assessed the extent to which Oil has benefited Ghanaian Businesses and communities; what the gaps are, contributory factors to missed opportunities, and the way forward. The conference also highlighted the need for skills development, particularly in the TVET sector, to further bridge the local content gap.

The conference also provided an overview of some of Government’s economic programmes such as the One District, One Factory initiative, and the Infrastructure for Eradication of Poverty (IPEP), and discussed technical and financing options that businesses needed to consider in order to take advantage of the initiative.

Speakers at the conference included Mrs. Gifty Ohene Konadu, National Coordinator of the One District, One Factory, Secretariat; Mr. Kwaku Boateng, Director – Special Services at the Petroleum Commission; and Mr. Samuel Bekoe, Accountability Lead at the Ghana Oil and Gas for Inclusive Growth (GOGIG) programme.

Whilst, the conference Speakers hailed the Western Region as richly endowed with natural resources like gold, diamond, and manganese; and cash crops such as cocoa, palm and timber, the conference highlighted that many of its communities do not seem to have benefited fully from these resources. Nonetheless, WRCF Team Leader/CEO Matthew Armah believes that that all is not lost as the conference is timely and creates the necessary impetus needed for leverage opportunities that will come with the One District, One Factory initiative.

“When oil and gas production started in 2007, it was very new to Ghana, and so the first 10 years were used to set up robust regulatory frameworks, and a focussed sensitisation on the immediate values chains of the industry. In collaborating with the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce, we thought it necessary to begin the awareness creation  of the ‘One District, One Factory’ initiative, so that local Businesses are better prepared to take advantage of all possible  opportunities” Mr. Armah said.

He added that all businesses can benefit from the One District, One Factory initiative, whether small, medium, or established. “The most important thing is to know the value chains in which these factories operate, and, find out where you can make a meaningful contribution and prepare to meet the opportunities that will emanate from the initiative” Mr. Armah stated.

According to the Western Region Chairman of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce (GNCC), Mr. Stephane Abbas Miezan, the conference was to support Government’s efforts to promote economic growth in Ghana, particularly the Western Region.  He urged Government to follow through and continue the awareness creation of its economic programmes so that Ghanaians are aware of the expectations and can act accordingly.

At the end of the event, participants felt they had a strong sense of what was needed for the One District, One Factory initiative, but hoped that the discussion would continue beyond the conference and see Businesses partnering to promote the economic growth of the region.

For more information about WRCF, please contact Oswald Felli, WRCF Communications Manager, +233 20 784 5941, oswald_felli@wrcfghana.org

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