Government is moving to increase Ghana's non-oil export volumes to the United States from the current 12 million dollars to 500 million dollars by 2020, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo has announced.
To this end, government is in the process of finalising a new African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) export strategy that would enable Ghana exploits fully the opportunities offered by the US market under the initiative.
President Akufo-Addo made the disclosure at the launch of the Ghana Apparel Manufacturing Expansion project of the Dignity DTRT Limited at the Adjabeng Free Zones Garment Enclave in Accra on Monday.
The project, a three- million-dollar partnership between the Dignity Do-The-Right-Thing (DTRT) Limited, and Ghanaian/American apparel manufacturer and exporter, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
It is under its Global Development Alliance programme and will generate 1,200 jobs, aside the 1600 employees currently manufacturing garments for the DTRT.
The President noted that Ghana had not taken advantage, nor made significant gains of the US’s AGOA since it was signed into law over a decade ago.
With the extension of the initiative for another 10 years, President Akufo-Addo said Ghana would this time utilise fully and leverage the AGOA programme to increase export volumes, create jobs for the teeming youth, and better the country’s socio-economic development.
The President said the Dignity DTRT Expansion project fit into a wider government policy to develop the textile and garment industry to make it’s a strategic anchor industry for Ghana’s industrialisation.
“The project is consistent to my government’s vision to make Ghana an industrial hub in West Africa, and, thus, drive the socio-economic development of our country,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo noted that though the industry in Ghana had not fared well over the years, but the relative normalisation of the power situation in the country, and the implementation of the business-friendly policies, in the first quarter of 2017, had resulted in impressive growth rate of 11.5 per cent, the highest sectoral growth in the economy.
He said it is the view of government that the private sector should create the needed jobs and it was for this reason “that we have set out to build the most business-friendly economy in Africa”.
“We are, therefore, moving quickly to create an environment that will unleash the innovative and entrepreneurial instincts of the Ghanaian people to drive rapid growth and job creation.”
The President applauded the success of Dignity DTRT, which had majority Ghanaian ownership and had within a short period of three years, built a thriving, commercial-scale manufacturing operation that was achieving world-class levels of production efficiency.
He said Ghana through the Dignity DTRT, would ensure that the “made in Ghana” brand was synonymous with international standards of operational and compliance excellence.
President Akufo-Addo pledged governments support for the Dignity DTRT operations in Ghana, which was expected to exports more than 30 million- dollar worth of clothing and generate about 5,000 jobs by 2018.
The company is expected to contribute some 82 million dollars to Ghana’s economy annually in the long run.
With the US clothing market raking 100 billion- dollar, and the Eastern and Southern African countries exploiting a number of billions of dollars from that market annually, President Akufo-Addo said: “We in Ghana and west Africa must match them… the opportunity is considerable and we need to get hold of it.”
He said his administration’s agenda for job creation would be underpinned by investment in skills development, value-added industrial development and promoting exports.
The DTRT which started operations in Ghana in 2014 currently produces 25,000 garments labelled as “Made in Ghana” destined for consumers across the United States.
The Dignity DTRT/USAID project would further boost the production garments per year and generate more than an additional 20 million-dollar per year in additional exports from Ghana to the US under the AGOA.