Trade and Industry Minister-designate, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, on Friday (February 26), announced, that the Free Zones Enclave in Kumasi would be turned into Ghana’ second industrial city, after Tema.
Mr Kyerematen said a public-private partnership was advancing towards developing the land acquired by the Government at Ejisu for activities in the industrial city because of the strategic location of the Ashanti Region.
He described the Region “as being linked to several other geographical regions of Ghana” and being a transit corridor to the Sahelian countries of West Africa.
The renominated Minister for the portfolio, who is a lawyer, an entrepreneur, diplomat, and management consultant, said this as his vetting by the Appointments Committee of Parliament, at the Parliament House, in Osu-Accra.
Currently chaired by Mr Joseph Osei Owusu, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, who is also the MP for Bekwai, the Appointments Committee of Parliament derives its existence and power from the 1992 Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament to vet nominees of the President for ministerial positions or other public offices, such as the Office of the Chief Justice.
The Committee, subsequently, recommends to the plenary of Parliament to either reject or approve the nominees.
Mr Kyerematen announced that the One District One Factory (1D1F) flagship programme of the Government included the development of industrial parks, and the Ejisu land had been incorporated into the Greater Kumasi Industrial and Economic Zone.
“This is going to be the next industrial enclave after Tema,” the Minister-designate declared.
He explained that the Ejisu Free Zones Enclave land was acquired 19 years ago, and the encroachment challenge there was similar to other areas where land had been acquired for development.
Securing funding was the major problem that had delayed the development of Free Zones lands, he stated.
He, however, emphasised that it was important for the Government to develop land banks that could become available to potential investors, and added, “Let’s engage the private sector to develop these land banks with the Government’s support”.
Mr Kyerematen informed the Committee that the encroached lands were being investigated, while a surveyor had been engaged to assess the extent of damage, in addition to the public being sensitised to protect that property.
When the Committee pointed out to him that the delay in developing Government acquired lands for their intended projects denied the people of their legal right to farm or other engage in other socio-economic activities, he said: ‘The Government is providing incentives to the private sector to undertake this project.
“It’s going to be one of the biggest projects.”