Developmental works are to begin in earnest on the 1099-acre Free Zones Authority land located at Boankra, Ampabame, Edwenase, Abenase, Donaso, Hwereso, Aduakorokyere, all in the Ejisu Traditional Area.
The land which was acquired in 2005 by the powers conferred on the President of the Republic of Ghana, by Section 7(1) of the Free Zone Act, 1995, (Act 504) was declared a free zone area under regulation by the Ghana Free Zones Authority. The tract of land is set to receive the needed infrastructure development as part of the Greater Kumasi Industrial Park under the Ghana Economic Transformation Project funded by the World Bank.
As part of efforts to get the project under way, the World Bank through the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Finance, has engaged Consultants to undertake several preparatory exercises, including Site Assessment, Best Practice Benchmarking and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment. On-ground inspection is scheduled to start from October 2021.
The area located which is a traditional trade route to the Sahelian Regions is of great importance to the Economic direction of the Country as as Ghana positions itself to become the Export Hub within the sub-region with immense benefit to the Country.
On completion, the project will pave the way for companies operating within some priority sectors to set up for operation. Priority sectors will include Cocoa Processing, Light Industrial Manufacturing, Heavy Industrial Manufacturing, Warehousing, Logistics, Services, and a Cyber village. Additionally, the development of the Boankra site will pave the way for establishing a Social Service Centre and a Bio-Technology Centre in Greater Kumasi.
During a fact-finding visit to the Ashanti Region, Ambassador Mike Oquaye, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Free Zones Authority and his team toured the site to gather first-hand information on the activities of encroachers who had erected illegal structures on the land.
Subsequently, Ambassador Oquaye met with the Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon Simon Osei-Mensah. The two discussed areas of mutual interest, particularly issues relating to the planned industrial drive and challenges posed by land encroachers on the site. Hon Osei-Mensah committed to supporting the Ghana Free Zones Authority as it works towards the achievements of the President’s vision for Industrialisation of the Country and the attendant vast job creation potential.
Speaking to journalists after the visit, Amb Oquaye stated that checks from the Ejisu Municipal Assembly and the Regional Minister’s office indicate that no permits have been issued for private development on the said land, neither have any permits been granted for development. Thus all occupants on the land are there illegally,”
He added that Government had in addition to the World Bank facility, signed an MoU with SinoHydro of China for the development of the Greater Kumasi Industrial City and Special Economic Zone. The project, when completed, will help grow Ghana’s economy and create at least 5,000 direct jobs and over 12,000 indirect jobs.
“The President, through the Ministry of Trade and Industry is committed to developing the Greater Kumasi Industrial City of which the lands acquired in the Ejisu Traditional and declared a Special Economic or Free Zones forms part of; and we must work within the given timelines. Therefore, we will set plans in motion to pave the way for the development of the area by ensuring that all illegal structures on the site are demolished .”