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Business News of Saturday, 9 May 2015

Source: GNA

C/R has potentials for Industrialisation – Spio-Garbrah

Dr Ekow Spio-Garbrah, Minister of Trade and Industry, said unless the industrial infrastructure in the Central Region was strengthened and developed, the region could not create enough jobs for its teeming youth.

He said unemployment was a major cause of poverty in the region and that the Ministry would ensure it became the centre of industrialisation because of its potentials.

“Central Region can boast of enough cassava, salt, fish, rubber and citrus. This clearly shows that Central Region has a great potential for a wider range of industrialisation. I’m ready to ensure that these industries are fully developed to benefit the people here,” he said.

Dr Spio-Garbrah said this on Thursday when he met the Central Regional branch of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce as part of his two-day industrial visit to the region.

He visited the on-going Kotokuraba Market project, Ameen Sangari factory and the Komenda Sugar Factory, and also met with the Central Region Development Commission.

Dr Spio-Garbrah wondered why the region was endowed with enough resources, tourist sites and higher educational institutions, but was still counted among the poorest in the country, and stressed the need for the resources to be exploited and developed to benefit the people.

He said Ghana had not been adequately industrialised that was why majority of its citizens were traders, adding that; “economies do not grow on the basis of trade but industrialisation.”

This, he said, was the biggest challenge culminating in the economic difficulties of the country.

He pledged the Government’s readiness to support the private sector and encouraged them to enter into partnerships to offer a stronger equity base to borrow money to expand their business.

Dr Spio-Garbrah described the region as a "knowledge city" saying it was time such knowledge translated and manifested itself favourably into industrialisation to attract investors.

He said an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) park, funded by the Ghana Infrastructural Investment Fund, would be established at the University of Cape Coast to offer students the opportunity to do internships, attachments, research and development projects.

The Minister indicated that the Government was in the process of establishing fish smoking plants in most fishing communities in the Central Region to help the fishmongers smoke more fish for export.

He encouraged Ghanaians, especially people from the region, to enter into cassava plantation as the beverage companies were crying for cassava starch to feed their factories, adding that ‘if the whole of Central Region decides to venture into cassava plantation, it would be enough to get out of poverty.”

He urged Ghanaians to patronise made-in-Ghana products saying it was a form of creating employment.