Companies under the Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA) generated US$1.9 billion in export revenue last year.
In addition to this, the Chief Executive of GFZA, Michael Oquaye Jnr disclosed that the companies have created over 60,000 direct jobs over the years.
“We have over 200 companies across various sectors of the economy, generating over US$1.9 billion in exports for the year 2022 and creating over 60,000 direct jobs since its creation,” he said.
He made this known at the maiden edition of GFZA Business Support Interaction held in Accra on the theme: ‘Driving business growth through sustainable access to resources, information, and markets’.
The Business Support Interaction sought to provide an opportunity for representatives of free zone enterprises to network with other stakeholders. It also served as a platform to address issues of concern.
This, Mr. Oquaye Jnr. highlighted has become necessary as his outfit believes providing the businesses with the necessary resources, information, and markets, can drive growth and promote sustainable development.
He assured the businesses that despite the economic downturn, GFZA is taking measures to ease difficulties associated with business operations and boost export.
He cited the acquisition of a 1,200-acre land at Shai Hills to establish a second export processing zone in the Greater Accra Region.
“We got a grant of €150,000 from the German Agency for International Cooperation or (GIZ) to operate a bus terminal and a restaurant, and to undertake training for free zone enterprises. We are also in the process of partnering with a strategic developer to develop the YABIW industrial park into a special economic zone. The World Bank is also supporting us to rehabilitate existing roads and constructing two new roads and the fence wall.
“We are in the process of acquiring a €2 million grant from the Investing for Jobs (IFE), a GIZ programme to expand the water system in Tema. This would among others, permanently solve the perennial water issues at the Tema enclave [We have already boosted water supply by interconnecting the transmission lines with the distribution to boost water supply to the companies],” he said.
The Ghana Free Zone Authority has also launched its Aftercare Unit to revolutionize customer service interactions. The unit’s mandate is to work with businesses in finding relevant solutions to operational issues. It will serve as a bridge between enterprises and the Authority, addressing pertinent questions and concerns.
The Authority has also dedicated itself to extensive digitalization efforts to enhance business accessibility and as part of the initiative, has completely redesigned its website, www.gfza.gov.gh.
According to deputy CEO, Finance and Administration at GFZA, Kate Djankwei Abbeo, the platform has been digitized to provide a seamless experience for prospective investors as it offers a comprehensive overview of the free zones license, highlighting the benefits and opportunities available.
It allows for easy navigation through the various sections, access to relevant information and efficiently completing the license application process.
“Our goal in revamping the website is to streamline the application process and make it hassle-free for investors, no matter where they are. By embracing this innovative digital system, we aim to attract a greater number of investors to Ghana’s Free Zones, promoting economic growth and development. We are excited to be at the forefront of this digital revolution and invite investors from around the world to explore the opportunities on our website,” Mr. Oquaye Jnr. added.