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Minister for Railways Development Joe Ghartey has challenged the various Chambers of Commerce in the country to collaborate with their foreign counterparts to consider developing lands along railways in readiness for the business opportunities a revitalize sector will bring.
The Minister explained that already government and its development partners have commenced a programme to develop associated infrastructure to go along with the revitalization efforts.
“If you go to Eshiem now, it is becoming a new hub. There is a tile factory, Dangote factory and other large scale industrial activities.
“If you go towards Shama, there is the Black Ivy championing an industrial park and the ministry is taking rail there. And so, what is going to happen in Sekondi-Takoradi is that the whole city in five to ten years’ time will become one big industrial city.”
Joe Ghartey therefore charged the Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce, for example, to “get land along the rail and create an industrial park, service the plots and invite people to go there. This way, you will be creating a new industrial hub,” he advised.
The Minister was speaking at a public lecture organized by the Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (STCCI) in collaboration with the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce on the theme ‘Railways Revitalization and Sustainable Development: Approaches and Opportunities in Takoradi’.
The lecture was to explore business opportunities in the railway sector at a time when the Akufo-Addo-led administration is pursuing a vigorous revitalization agenda of the sector.
When completed, the country’s railway sector, which will see close to 4,000 kilometers of railways connecting especially the productive sectors, will be worth $30 billion.
According to international rating agency Fitch, most of the country’s development will come from the railway sector in the next decade.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the STCCI Benjamin Nii Kpani Addy explained further that the lecture comes on the back of findings of a survey his outfit conducted on business condition in Sekondi-Takoradi in the first and second quarters.
“In the survey, one of the main challenges affecting businesses is lack of innovation, what I call copy [copy]. A lot of the businesses keep doing the same thing over and over again. And this is giving in to some unfriendly business practices. And so, we did this lecture in collaboration with the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce to free the space and direct businesses to other areas that also have a lot of potentials”.
“And the minister did so well by exposing the railway corridor and the opportunities therein,” he stated.
Mr. Nii Kpani Addy said now that the railway sector has been laid bare, they will immediately set up a committee to look at what can be done.
“At STCCI we may not have the resources but we can liaise with the Chiefs and opinion leaders and make sure that at least we have the land and then together we will develop it.”
By Eric Yaw Adjei|3news.com|Ghana