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13.11.2008 Business & Finance

Multi-purpose park offers 7,000 jobs

By BFT

More than 7,250 jobs are expected to be created when 16 companies begin operations at the Tema Multi Purpose Industrial Park (MPIP) by 2009.

Six of the companies have been granted permits while the remaining 10 are expected to receive their permits by the end of the year to operate at the Park.

The Park is under the Ghana Free Zone enclave as part of the implementation strategies of the Ghana Gateway Project.

The new companies will add to the already existing 13 companies which have been operating since November 2005, when the Project was restructured.

The already operating companies have so far created about 4,367 jobs.

The Gateway Project, which begun in 1999, is estimated to cost US$56 million and is being funded by the International Development Agency (IDA) of the World Bank, which is contributing US$50.5 million, while the Government of Ghana and other private local investors are injecting US$3.4 million and US$2.1 million respectively into the project.

Project funds disbursement as at the end of June 2008 indicate that government has already spent 100 percent of its counterpart fund requirement, of which the IDA credit funds disbursement amounts to 90 percent.

The World Bank, in its Status of Projects in Execution report for 2008, has expressed satisfaction at the progress of the Ghana Gateway Project.

"Achievements toward meeting the development objectives have progressed steadily since the project's restructuring in November 2005.

"At the time of the restructuring, only one company was operating in the MPIP. To date, 19 enterprises have been granted settlement in the MPIP out of which 13 are operational and 4,367 new jobs have been created," it said.

In September this year, the IDA agreed with government to again extend the deadline for completion of the Ghana "Gateway Project to the end of next year to allow for the completion of major infrastructural works at the MPIP and Tema port

The Project, which was scheduled for completion in June this year, was extended by 18 more months to December 2009 as the power cuts and shortages of construction materials, especially cement during the past two years had adversely affected the Project implementation process.

In addition to the extension of the project closure date, government and the IDA have again agreed to make further amendments to the Project Development Credit Agreement.

In view of these amendments, local and offshore costs of on-going construction works will be 100 percent paid for from the IDA credit funds to remove the burden of government providing the counterpart funding.

The Ghana Gateway Project is aimed at attracting a critical mass of export-oriented firms and facilitating trade for accelerated growth through the development of a multi-purpose industrial park.

The Project is also geared at improving the quality and standards of services delivered to investors and exporters by the institutions and agencies responsible for trade and investments in the country.

It is being implemented by the Ghana Investment and Promotion Centre (GIPC), Ghana Free Zones Board (GFZB), Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), and Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA).

Source: BFT

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