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Akufo-Addo: Industries must take advantage of expanded markets under AfCFTA


President Akufo-Addo, addressing attendees of the commissioning ceremony of the Nestlé Infant Cereal Plant expansion at the factory in Tema

The President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has called on manufacturers in the country to take full advantage of the “access to expanded markets” created by the coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

According to the President, “one of the main challenges to our (Africa’s) industrialisation drive is the lack of access to expanded markets”.

“The economies of scale are important for industrialisation and with small fragmented markets in Africa, industrial development has always been a challenge,” Akufo-Addo said.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony of the Nestlé infant cereal plant expansion at the Ghana factory in Tema on Wednesday, Akufo-Addo said the introduction of the ECOWAS trade liberalisation scheme (ETLS) and the AfCFTA, have offered a huge trade market that ought to be explored by industries in Ghana.

President Akufo-Addo and other dignitaries at the commissioning ceremony of the Nestlé Infant Cereal Plant expansion at the factory in Tema

“West Africa’s population of some 350 million people and adoption of the ECOWAS trade liberalization scheme (ETLS) to create a regional market in ECOWAS have been re-enforced by the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area who’s Secretariat is located in Accra and it represents a market of some 1.3 billion people will combined GDP of three trillion United States dollars,” Akufo-Addo said.

“These regional and continental markets provides considerable opportunities for value added products manufactured by our entrepreneurs in Ghana,” he added.

Nestlé AfCFTA lead

Akufo-Addo commended Nestlé Ghana Limited for being one of the pioneering companies operating in Ghana who are taking advantage of the expanded market opportunities offered by the AfCFTA.

President Akufo-Addo unveiling the plague of the Nestlé Infant Cereal Plant

“I am delighted that Nestlé has taken an active interest in the operationalization of the AfCFTA which will be seen as the game changer to help reposition private sector operators in Ghana to take full advantage of the market opportunities under the AfCFTA framework,” Akufo-Addo noted.

Diligent contribution

The CEO of Nestlé Central and West Africa region, Mauricio Alarcon, his statement, noted that Nestlé Ghana Limited has successfully expanded its cereals plant which will see its local production of cerelac for infants in Ghana, the rest of West Africa and Central Africa by 13,700 tonnes annually.

CEO of Nestlé Central and West Africa region, Mauricio Alarcon

“Additional income opportunities for local farmers and suppliers in Ghana, in the region of Central and West Africa in guaranteed” Mauricio Alarcon said.

“As a business that has been operating in Ghana since 1957, Nestlé will continue to diligently contribute to the economy and serve as a model for other businesses to thrive,” he added.

Direct employment

Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyerematen, in his sector Minister remarks noted that his minor “recognizes the importance of attracting private sector operators to invest in the productive sectors of the Ghanaian economy and take full advantage of the many attractive incentives offered by the Government to enhance the competitiveness of local industries”.

Some staff at work at the Nestlé Infant Cereal Plant in Tema

“The new cereals manufacturing plant we are commissioning today, is not only going to provide direct employment for over 800 people, which will improve their livelihoods and that of their dependents but will go a long way to boost the Government’s strategic efforts aimed at import substitution, especially in sectors where there is local capacity for value addition” Alan Kyerematen said.

Nestlé Ghana Limited

Nestlé Ghana Limited started business in Ghana in 1957 under the trading name of Nestlé Products (Gh) Limited with the importation of Nestlé products such as milk and chocolates.

President Akufo-Addo in a group picture with other dignitaries at the commissioning ceremony of the Nestlé Infant Cereal Plant expansion at the factory in Tema

In 1968, it was incorporated as Food Specialties (Gh) Limited to manufacture and market locally well known Nestlé brands. Nestlé Ghana Limited is located in Tema, Ghana and is part of the Other Food Manufacturing Industry.

Nestlé Ghana Limited has over 1,000 employees at this location and generates $66.17 million in sales (USD). There are about 1,988 companies in the Nestlé Ghana Limited corporate family.

Wilberforce Asare

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