The former Central Regional chairman of the National Democratic Congress Bernard Allotey Jacobs has lauded the One District, One Factory initiative as a successful model worth emulating by all future governments.
Allotey Jacobs, who describes himself as being among initial critics of the programme, said President Akufo-Addo should be commended for such a grand innovation, as it has helped to reduce unemployment in Ghana.
Speaking to Asaase Radio’s Central Region correspondent, Nana Baah, he cited Ekumfi Fruits & Juices and the Casa de Ropa potato-processing factory as prime examples of how the industrialisation policy is changing fortunes for local people.
Both projects were commissioned by President Akufo-Addo on Friday (21 August) under the One District, One Factory programme.
Central Region a big beneficiary
The Casa de Ropa operation will process high-yielding orange-fleshed sweet potato into purée, which serves as a highly nutritious alternative base for a range of food products, from biscuits and bread to cakes and crisps.
Allotey Jacobs said the Central Region has become the biggest beneficiary of the project as job opportunities have opened up there to absorb the large numbers of local unemployed people, particularly the young.
Popularly known as “Educated Fisherman”, Allotey Jacobs was speaking to Asaase Radio correspondents yesterday, on the sidelines of the commissioning of the Ekumfi Fruits & Juices factory, maker of Eku Juice and the pilot project under the One District, One Factory programme.
He praised the president for using the vehicle of 1D1F to expand the Ghanaian economy. Ultimately, he said, such ventures will help reduce the country’s dependence on imports.
Panacea for unemployment
The paramount chief of the Ekumfi Traditional Area, Nana Akyin VIII, praised President Akufo-Addo for tackling the unemployment situation in the country.
The chief explained that the One District, One Factory initiative has indeed provided employment opportunities for many in Ghana and that the Central Region is a major beneficiary.
Nana Akyin said many of the local youth who were previously unemployed have been offered jobs at the fruit processing factory.
They are now earning decent incomes, he said, and are able to support their families.
Raise living standards
The chief urged President Akufo-Addo to continue his good work by creating more avenues for employment by establishing factories to improve living standards in Ghana.
The chief had high praise for the government’s initiatives and for the pioneering work of the One District, One Factory co-ordinator, Gifty Ohene-Konadu, saying they have improved the well-being of Ghanaians. He urged the president to find the means to provide the Ekumfi factory with one last tranche of funding which, he said, would allow it to operate at optimum capacity.
The chiefs and people later conferred the title of Nana Nokwarfo Oyeadze I on the president in a colourful ceremony.
President Akufo-Addo pledged his commitment to using the tools of government to tackle the unemployment challenge in Ghana head-on. The opening of these two factories will not only create jobs for the people, he said, but also contribute significantly to expanding the national economy.
On the Ground / Asaase News correspondents, Central Region