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AfCFTA will facilitate exports for 1D1F, says Gifty Ohene Konadu

Gifty Ohene Konadu

The government is considering expanding the capacity of the Ekumfi Fruits & Juices factory in an export push of its products to the sub-region under the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA), when this becomes fully operational next year.

Gifty Ohene Konadu, co-ordinator of the One District, One Factory (1D1F) programme, revealed this in an interview with Nana Yaa Mensah on The Asaase Breakfast Show today (Tuesday 6 October).

Beef up production

“The AfCFTA is going to make accessibility very easy for some of the factories under 1D1F to export their products,” Ohene Konadu told the ABS co-host. “But that is in the future. The AfCTA is fairly new, so let’s give it some time – two, three years – and we will start talking about export.

“At the moment … if you look at Ekumfi, they can’t even meet the domestic demand. So we are going to beef up their production.”

The Ekumfi Fruits & Juices Factory was launched officially in 2018 and commissioned by President Akufo-Addo in August this year.

The factory, which currently employs about 400 workers, including outgrowers, was established under the One District, One Factory initiative with the aim of creating jobs for Ghanaians living in and around Ekumfi Abor, a well-established but little-developed pineapple-growing area of the Central Region.

The 1D1F co-ordinator however explained that the factory will be expanded gradually over time to help meet local demand first, before exports begin. And demand in Ghana for the Ekumfi factory’s healthy products is impressive and growing.

“Because it is better to consume what you produce, because you know what goes into it, you drink comfortably,” Ohene Konadu said.

Huge continental market

On 17 August, President Akufo-Addo commissioned and handed over a fully furnished African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat to the chair of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and the AfCFTA secretary general, Wamkele Mene, in Accra.

The Commission will administer the free trade agreement, which will create a single market of 55 members with a combined population of 1.2 billion and total gross domestic product of roughly US$2.5 trillion.

All 54 sovereign nation states of Africa have signed the agreement and 30, including Ghana, have ratified the deal.

Fred Dzakpata

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