Turkey to build industrial parks in Ghana
Turkey is to construct two industrial parks at Accra and Kumasi respectively beginning next year at a cost of over $300 million.
Outgoing Charge d’Affairs of Turkey Embassy in Accra, Simay Erinoglo, speaking to journalists in Accra on Tuesday, said the two projects, which are designed to attract many Turkish investors into Ghana would be funded by the Turkish Eximbank.
The Ankara Chamber of Industry and the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce & Industry signed an agreement to that effect recently. Ms Erinoglo said Turkish exports to Ghana last year recorded $223.5 million while it imported $303.5 million worth of goods from Ghana.
For the first six months of 2013, Turkey exported $103.6 million worth of goods to Ghana while it imported $128.9 million worth of goods from Ghana.
The outgoing diplomat also indicated that Turkey was currently supporting a yam growing project in the country since the crop is a rich source of starch. “We are planning to start an advertisement on yam imports to Turkey soon.”
She added that other crops, including cassava and cocoa would also be grown with the support of her Government in selected locations in the country. Ms Erinoglo added that Turkish investors were eyeing a number of projects in the various sectors of Ghana’s economy, including construction.
Also, it intends to help with the construction of an international airport. In the health sector, Turkey wants to assist with the construction of eight pre-fabricated hospitals at a cost of $118 million.
The Turkish Development Agency (TIKA) is working on a lot of projects in Ghana, she indicated. Turkish investors are hesitant to come over to Ghana to invest because of the monstrous land acquisition challenges, she stated.
Turkey, a friend of Ghana since the 1960s, broke up the relationship in 1980 and returned in 2010
The Ghana cedi is set to come under serious pressure again over the projected fall in prices of gold and cocoa on the international market.
The World Bank in a recent report noted that Ghana’s earnings from the exports of gold and cocoa will drop substantially in the days ahead.
The bank based its predictions on the huge fall in prices of the two commodities in the coming months.
The country over the years has depended on hard currencies earned from exports from gold and cocoa to finance imports and shore up the local currency’s value.
Dr. Joe Abbey, an Economist, states that with less earnings from exports and an less controlled imports, “the Bank of Ghana would have to draw down on its holding of foreign exchange to meet the gaps”.
Despite its stability, the Ghana cedi is currently the second most depreciated currency in Africa, according to the latest Ecobank report on the performance of currencies in Africa.
The report puts the cedi’s rate of depreciation at 14.5 percent, second to the Lesotho’s Loti of 19.3.