On the 26th February 2020, Western Regional Minister, Hon. Dr. Kwabena Okyere- Darko Mensah commissioned Ghana Rubber Estates Limited(GREL) Processing plant on behalf of the Vice President Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at Ahanta West, Abura, in the western region. In attendance were dignitaries like Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ahomka Linsey, other officials from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, chiefs and other stakeholders, etc.
The Tsibu Processing Plant was approved by the Ministry of Trade and Industry captured under 1 District 1 Factory policy of President Nana Akufo Addo administration. The Rubber Processing Plant is expected to process rubber whose value worth €70 million (about GH¢405 million) every year at least in the next five years. Inevitably the plant would increase production and this means that the Gross Domestic Product(GDP) percentage will increase. Increased GDP adds to the economic wellbeing of a country.
This will begin to erase the perception of Ghana being raw materials production-driven to manufacture a driven economy. The need for industrialisation is now on the minds of Ghana’s than ever and so this a step in the right direction captured under the “Ghana Beyond Aid ” policy. The dependence on raw materials export to adding value to raw materials before export is the way to go if the “Ghana Beyond Aid” agenda is to be achieved.
Additionally, the Rubber Processing plant would warrant more employment and so the youth, graduates in the catchment area and the western region, in general, are expected to be employed thereby reducing the unemployment toll in the country. Currently, the company has employed 260 workers in respect of the new Processing Plant and expected to employ additional 400 new workers making 660 and this has brought new hope and happiness to the people of the western region.
The processed rubber would be substantially exported and this will increase foreign exchange since 99% will be exported. Economically, more exports help to ensure the good economic health of a country and so it is a good strategic commitment by GREL to pursue.
Increased export agendum of processed rubber by GREL would help the country’s exchange rate to be better. This will help the cedi to appreciate or at least stabilize against other major trading currencies like dollars, Pounds Sterling since 69.3 million euros worth of processed rubber is planned to be exported yearly.
The Western Regional Minister speaking urged GREL to be environmentally friendly. In that their production would follow the tenets of Environmental Protection regulations so that the environment within their catchment area would be sustained to impact positively on climate change.
The Minister also commended the board and management for this great initiative in supporting the government’s industrialisation agenda.