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Opinions of Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Columnist: Nuamah, Abdul Samiu

Kyerematen's Political Accomplishments

Hon. Kyerematen has been a leading young stalwart and key strategist of the NPP since its inception in 1992. He is a Founding Member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and has also served on the highest decision-making bodies of the NPP that shaped the Party’s strategic direction both in opposition and in Government, including:

NPP National Executive Committee, serving as a Member from 1992 to date NPP Economic Management Team NPP Finance Committee He is also a Founding Member of the Young Executive Forum (YEF), a powerful advocacy and lobby group within the Party which played a major role in galvanizing the professional and business community to support the growth and development of the party, as well as mobilize a new generation of party faithful and young leaders. As Chairman of YEF from 1992 to 2001, he symbolized the essence and spirit of the new generation of party leaders. In 1996, he was sponsored by YEF as a Presidential Candidate although he later voluntarily withdrew his candidature to pave way for his older colleagues in the Party.

Hon. Kyerematen has been one of the privileged few to have held membership of the National Executive Committee for over a decade, under successive Chairmanship of Mr. B.J. DaRocha, The Right Hon. Peter Ala Adjetey, H.E. Odoi Sykes and Mr. Harouna Esseku. As a result of his contribution to strategy development within the Party, he was appointed as a Member of the NPP/CPP Great Alliance Negotiating Team.

As Head of Ghana’s Diplomatic Mission to the United States of America, he was considered the NPP Government’s top foreign envoy and performed with distinction over the 18-month duty tour, and his significant achievements include:

Establishment of the US-Ghana Economic Council, a high-level advocacy and advisory group established to deepen economic relations and bilateral trade between Ghana and the United States; Coordinating Government’s re-negotiation of the Westel agreement with Western Wireless and Valco Agreement with Kaiser Aluminium Company Coordinating the implementation of the first Investment Forum in the United States to showcase the economic potential of each of the 10 regions of Ghana Establishment of the first web-based Ghana Skills Bank, a database designed to facilitate access to Ghanaian professionals and experts worldwide. Initiated plans for the establishment of a Ghana Cultural Centre in the United of States. Developed an “Operation Save Your Schools Programme” for Ghana residents in the United States to assist their alma mater primary/middle schools.

In 2003, Alan Kyerematen was appointed as the Cabinet Minister with responsibility for Trade, Industry and the President’s Special Initiatives (PSI). In that capacity, he spearheaded the development and implementation of innovative programmes which have become new strategic pillars of growth for the transformation of the Ghanaian economy. Concrete manifestations of these special initiatives are:

An $8.5 million state-of-the-art factory, which produces high grade industrial starch from cassava for export to key markets in Europe, Africa and Asia. The starch initiative created over 10,000 jobs and piloted a new innovative approach in rural industry development based on the concept of Corporate Village Enterprises. In addition, it is considered as a model in linking developing countries into the global supply chain through industrial agro-processing. The first industrial starch company has been certified as a global supplier of high grade starch to Nestle operations worldwide.

The construction of a multi-million dollar enclave within the Tema Free Zone, dedicated to garments manufacturing for the export market by Ghanaian entrepreneurs. The enclave is also being extended and converted to accommodate similar facilities for Furniture Manufacturing and an ICT Park, thus converting part of the Free Zones into a Multi-purpose Industrial Park. The revival of the Oil Palm industry in Ghana, achieving a phenomenal growth in seedlings supply from 250,000 seedlings per annum in 2001 to 4 million as at the end of 2004, from twelve nursery sites. Programme initiated under which over 100,000 hectares of palm plantation is being cultivated.

Mobilizing new investments to expand Salt mining operations in Ghana and provide a stable raw material base for the development of a caustic soda industry to feed other manufacturing industries. Ghana’s non-traditional export sector has grown from $400 million in 2000 to the level of $800 million in 2005.

The roll-out and implementation of the Districts Industrialisation Programme, a comprehensive programme for rural industrialization involving the setting up of at least one medium-sized factory in each administrative district in Ghana. As Minister for Trade, Industry, he has coordinated Government of Ghana’s trade policy agenda in respect of multilateral trade negotiations, including WTO, EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreement and ECOWAS. He played led roles in both the regional preparatory process towards the WTO Cancun and Hong Kong Ministerial Meetings, particularly during the latter, in which he was one of the privileged few amongst Trade Ministers in the World, to have been appointed as a member of the Chairman’s Consultative Group. He was also the only Trade Minister from Africa to have been selected as a panelist on Trade during the 2006 World Economic Forum in Davos.

He has also led the negotiation and development of bilateral trade and economic relations between the Government of Ghana and its major trading partners, including UK, USA, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, China, Denmark, South Africa, Nigeria, etc.

He has been a lead member of the NPP Government team promoting Ghana abroad and attracting and facilitating foreign direct investment into the country, and has also been responsible for developing a comprehensive internal trade and import management portfolio aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of local products, promoting fair trade and protecting consumer interests as well as promoting Made-in-Ghana products through campaigns such as the highly successful “National Friday Wear” programme.

Under his direction, a comprehensive Ghana Trade Policy has for the first time in the history of Ghana been launched as a major plank in Government’s strategy for accelerating and sustaining economic growth and increasing incomes and employment. The Trade Policy provides clear and transparent guidelines for the comprehensive implementation of Government’s domestic and international trade agenda. In addition, he has lead the process of preparing a $200-million implementation blueprint, called the Trade Sector Support Programme (TSSP), which was launched in October 2005.

The major component activities being implemented include the establishment of Export Trade Houses, the establishment of a “Furniture City” - an enclave for manufacturers of wood export products, the establishment of product galleries to promote Made-in-Ghana goods and the establishment of a Technology Innovation Center for Capital Goods Manufacturing. He has also negotiated a $45 million facility with the World Bank to promote SME development in Ghana.

Another major achievement of the Hon. Minister has been to develop the Trade Ministry into a professional service organization with the Ministry being restructured into strategic business units with an efficient programme coordination and management system.



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