Many traders in Ghana are beginning to adopt plans to convert themselves into manufacturers rather than importers, a good sign for the domestic economy, Dr Ekow Spio Garbrah, Minister of Tradeand Industry, has revealed.
According to him, most of the traders, who are adopting that move, usually trade in sugar, cement, ceramics, steel and glass products.
Speaking during the first Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) industrial summit in Accra on Thursday July 21, Mr Spio Garbrah said: “…How do we convert most of our traders into industrialists? I am pleased that over the past few months, we have been talking to importers in Ghana. Some of them import sugar and other products and increasingly many of them are now beginning to develop business plans for converting themselves into manufacturers”.
“Not just importing cement, but manufacturing cement, not just importing steel, but manufacturing steel, not just importing ceramics, but manufacturing ceramics, not just importing glass bottles, but you consider a glass-making industry in Ghana. All of which, of course, dwell on power. Power is a very significant component of the factors of production, especially for industry, but this is where notwithstanding the challenges that we are facing as a country, Ghana actually is doing much better than we think because within the West African sub-region, Ghana has the highest per capita penetration of power among its citizens and the highest access to power among its citizens in the region of 80 per cent.
“Eighty per cent of Ghanaians have access, meaning an electric pole is not more than 50 yards from you. …You have access and that is good news because for people to industrialise, they may not only want to be in the cities like Accra, Tema, and Takoradi. There certain industries that must be close to the raw material base so if you are going to do some bauxite processing or manganese processing you may want to be closer to where the raw material is. ….And, so, having power very widely distributed in this country is a major achievement.”