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11.10.2005 General News

Workshop on West Africa industrial policy underway in Accra

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Accra, Oct. 11, GNA - Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, Minister of Regional Cooperation and NEPAD, on Tuesday noted that any policy document that failed to meet the demands of West Africa's capacity constraints and competitiveness in the global arena would not stand the test in the future.

He has therefore tasked stakeholders to fashion an industrial policy that would address the challenges posed by the twin forces of liberalisation and globalisation in the Sub -Region. The Minister was speaking at a workshop on the validation of the Draft West African Common Industrial Policy Document, which emphasises the harmonisation of the various national industrial policies and promotion of partnerships and joint ventures between local and foreign investors.

The ECOWAS Secretariat and the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) are hosting the workshop.

To succeed in boosting the sub-region's share of the world's manufacturing sector, Dr Apraku, said the industrial policy must redress the problems of low efficiency, access to capital and trade barriers that had long been the bane of industries.

Besides, the new policy must give special attention to science and technology and encourage local manufacturers to adhere to export standards to overcome the fierce global competition.

Dr Apraku urged the stakeholders to ensure that the new policy identified the strength of the sub-region, especially in areas of agriculture productions and agro-processing.

Mr David Kamara, Director of the Department for Infrastructure and Industry at the ECOWAS Secretariat, said the sub-regional body envisaged boosting the productive capacity of member countries through harmonising the various industrial policies.

Prince Kofi Kludjeson, President of AGI, said he was unhappy that despite numerous ECOWAS protocols signed to improve transportation and telecommunication infrastructure and allow for free movement of people, the results so far did not reflect the efforts.

He expressed the hope that the new policy would help expand the frontiers of trade and economic development in the sub-region.

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