President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday cut the sod for the construction of a new cement grinding factory, at the Tema Freezones enclave.
Congratulating the Board, Management and Staff of CBI Ghana, and their partner, Lafarge-Holcim, for taking the decision to invest in Ghana, President Akufo-Addo noted that laying the foundation stone for the cement grinding factory signals the beginning of a long-term partnership between Ghana and CBI.
Since taking office some 7 months ago, the President stated that his government has taken a lot of measures to correct the economic mess inherited, with some of the macroeconomic figures beginning to show some improvement.
“We will know we are making real progress when the improved figures lead to an improved business atmosphere and more investment that lead to the creation of jobs,” he stated.
The President, thus, indicated that he took it as a veritable vote of confidence in the steps his government is taking to make the private sector flourish, that a company, like CBI, has taken the decision to enter Ghana’s economic space, and, therefore, welcomed them heartily.
“As the latest entrant to the sector and supported, as you are, by Lafarge-Holcim, the world’s leading cement manufacturer, we expect CBI to bring the latest advanced cement grinding technology to Ghana. I look forward to the construction of what we expect to be a state-of-the-art cement grinding factory, to diversify the sector, promote healthy competition, and improve product standards,” he stated.
The President assured that his government, will, on its part, continue to ensure that the sector gets the regulatory support and the business-friendly environment it needs to thrive.
Indicating that cement forms the backbone of infrastructure development, which contributes about a quarter of Ghana’s GDP, President Akufo-Addo noted that the consumption of cement is guaranteed to increase by leaps and bounds as his government deals with growing urbanization, the huge deficit in our housing needs, and the anticipated rise in government and private sector infrastructure development projects.
“The local manufacture of cement will help create jobs and reduce the drain on our foreign exchange reserves from having to import cement,” he added.
With government indicating that it is considering a transition to the use of concrete for the construction of more durable roads in Ghana, President Akufo-Addo stated that “we shall be needing even more cement than before. I am assured by CBI that the Supacem brand cement is strong and suitable for road construction.”
President Akufo-Addo was also comforted to learn that CBI Ghana will be using the highest environmental standards and raw materials in the production of its Supacem cement.
He hoped that CBI Ghana will tap into the international expertise of its partner, Lafarge-Holcim, and bring transfer of technology and knowledge to the benefit of Ghana.
“With your affiliation to Lafarge-Holcim, the world-leader in cement manufacturing, operating in 90 countries, 30 of which are in Africa alone, we hope to see in-flows of knowledge, global best practices and technical-skills into Ghana’s cement and related sectors,” he said.
Stressing that job creation ranks as his government’s highest priority, President Akufo-Addo indicated that “we look forward to the CBI cement factory creating hundreds of jobs, and we are glad to learn of CBI’s commitment to training its employees and to technology transfer.”
The President was confident that CBI Ghana “will be a responsible employer that treats your employees with dignity and pays maximum attention to their health and safety needs and the environmental impact of the factory.”