ACCRA, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Ghana's desire to transform its economy requires that it places industrialization at the center of activities, deputy minister for Trade and Industry Robert Ahomka-Lindsay said on Thursday.
He explained that this was the reason for the government's much mentioned One District-One Factory (1D-1F) program.
Ahomka-Lindsay made the remarks while delivering the keynote address at the 10th anniversary celebration of the cooperation between Ghana and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the State Secretariat of Economic Affairs on Trade Capacity Building (TCB) program.
"Industry is at the center of government plans to transform the economy from one reliant on its natural resource base to one driven by value-added exports," the deputy minister stressed.
For that reason, he said the current administration, among other things, was seeking to establish a factory in every one of the country's 254 administrative districts.
This 1D-1F program, he explained, was aimed at moving the country away from the dependence on cocoa and gold export in their raw states towards a future in which the country would export automobiles and other high-value products.
Among the short-term measures to achieve this goal, he said the government would help distressed companies with a stimulus package funded by the national budget.
On the trade sector, the minister disclosed that the government had been partnering with development partners, including the UNIDO and Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI).
This capacity building, he said, was helping the institutions address issues of Sanitary and Phytosanitary compliance.
In March 2007, MOTI, the lead ministry of the Trade Sector Support Program, the Ghana Standards Authority, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate and the Food and Drugs Authority became part of the UNIDO project on trade capacity building.
The program, running for the past 10 years, helped Ghana to lay the foundation for a national quality infrastructure policy and to develop numerous standards for the wood, fish, cocoa and fruits industries while revising more than 80 standards for those industries.
There were exhibitions by institutions which have benefited from the TCB program during the anniversary commemoration.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution in July 2016 proclaiming 2016 to 2025 as the third Industrial Development Decade for Africa, with UNIDO leading the implementation.
The vision for the implementation is to enable Africa move consistently on a path towards industrial development which is sustainable and takes care of all sectors, said Fakhruddin Azizi, UNIDO Representative for Ghana and Liberia.
"The attainment of this vision requires the transformation of African countries into locations of competitive industrial production," Azizi added.