The One District One Factory Secretariat asserts that the year 2020 with the absence of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged the world would have been a wonderful year to be told in the history of industrialization in Ghana.
In an end of year assessment, the Public Relations Officer of the Secretariat, Mr Kwaku Gyasi states that the government agency tasked with facilitating the setting up and revitalizing existing factories in all districts across the country, was in the position to achieve greater heights in 2020.
Mr Gyasi said with 2020 being an election year, there was a call of urgency for the secretariat to ensure that most if not all the factories were established before the close of the year.
However, he points out that the secretariat from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak was faced with daunting challenges that threatened its objective.
“Government, the secretariat, promoters and collaborators faced a critical challenge in 2020. Before the year begun, most of the factories had matured in terms of their setting up and were at the stage where installing of machinery was supposed to take place,” he said.
The PRO explains that government in its conscious quest to ensuring a smooth transition of the phases in establishing the factories secures through parliament tax exemptions on imported machinery and equipment for 1D1F projects as and when they are duly applied.
He again points out that even though a lot of the machinery meant for some of the projects, arrived in the country on time, their installation and setting up were delayed as most were to be installed by manufacturers and experts who are expatriates and could not travel into the country due to restrictions imposed worldwide because of the deadly pandemic.
He cited an example in the case of Agro Africa Company Limited, a 1D1F factory in the Ashanti Region specialized in processing piggery into various meat products that had its installation of machinery and equipment halted from November 2019 to October 2020 even though machines meant for its operations had arrived in the country ahead of time.
“Around June/July when the secretariat conducted a visit to project sites to assess the impact of the pandemic, it was realized how dire the factories condition had been rendered due to the halt in continuation of the project. Their machines had been sitting at the factory for months without them being installed. It affected their operational timelines and this situation became very common with most projects at the installation.”
Faced with the effects of the pandemic, the 1D1F Secretariat was still able to achieve significant strides in its objective through innovative ways as Mr Gyasi would like to put it.
“The secretariat after conducting its COVID-19 impact assessment and realizing the effects of the pandemic on projects had to think outside the box and come up with innovative ways of managing the progress of projects,” he states.
One of the strategies used by the secretariat in managing the situation was liaising with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure that arrangements were made for the movement of expatriate professionals into the country during when restrictions were loosened.”
He adds that among other things, the secretariat also collected individual issues related to each project and ensured that they were addressed as effectively as possible.
Success of 1D1F in 2020
The PRO whiles acknowledging the challenges faced by the secretariat stresses that the success of the 1D1F policy in the year 2020 has been one that can be best described as “very refreshing, monumental and evidential.”
In summing up the overall success of the flagship industrialisation policy of the Akufo-Addo government, Mr Gyasi states that “President Akufo-Addo through 1D1F has been able to achieve the biggest and most successful industrialization program ever implemented in the history of the country.”
He said the 2020 election and the need for President Akufo-Addo to account to Ghanaians for another mandate brought to light the success story of the policy ably captured in the “1D1F Testimonial Documentary” put together by the secretariat.
Speaking further on the successes of the 1D1F policy, Mr Kwaku Gyasi detailed that the government of Akufo-Addo within a period of less than four years has been able to execute 232 projects across the country.
“Out of the 232 we have 76 that have been completed and are fully operational; out of the 76 we have 48 that are brownfields. They were already existing and needed support to either expand or revitalize their operations. The remaining 28 are the greenfields. They are new and fresh startups that were built from scratch and they include Ekumfi Juice factory, Cassa De Ropa and Petersfield and Rey among others.”
Having detailed the success of the policy in spite of the COVID-19 related challenges, Mr Gyasi avers that the secretariat in 2021 looks forward to the successful implementation of all outlined projects in all districts across the country.
“It is expected that the secretariat will continue the establishment of factories in districts across the country and continue working with all stakeholders to ensure that all projects have the right foundation to ensure their survival.”
He thus extended a new year goodwill message to Ghanaians and emphasized on the commitment of the Akufo-Addo government in bringing development to citizens of the country whiles urging the support of the nation for the government.
“On behalf of government, the president and his vice-president, the national coordinator of 1D1F, Madam Gifty Ohene Konadu, I wish all Ghanaians a happy new year with hope that 2021 comes with all the blessings and protection we expect to have as a country. We reassure Ghanaians that the president is highly committed to diligently serving the good people of the country and bringing us the necessary development. I urge Ghanaians to Continue to repose confidence in the president and his government as well as being good citizens and not spectators.”