The Government, through the Rural Enterprises Programme (REP), is establishing Business Resource Centers (BRCs) in selected districts and municipalities, to promote its National Industrialisation Agenda including the One-District One-Factory initiative (1D1F). Construction for 37 BRCs is currently underway in selected nationwide at an estimated cost of US$ 8.58 million, covering the cost of infrastructure and equipment, with funding from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Parliament has also approved additional funding of US$40 million for the Rural Enterprises Programme from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), part of which will be used for the establishment of 30 additional BRC. This will bring the number of BRCs being established through REP to 67.
The BRCs are being established through the complete transformation of the Business Advisory Centers (BACs) established by the Rural Enterprises Programme (REP) and National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) since 1995.
Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeramaten, said this when he presented Toyota Hilux and Nissan Hardbody pickups to 37 BRCs, Association of Small Scale Industries (ASSI) and other implementing units of REP in Kumasi. The vehicles are part of the resources being provided under REP to enable the units to operate effectively and efficiently to contribute to the promotion of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises development.
Mr. Kyeramaten explained that the BRCs will play a key role in the Government’s industrialisation agenda and job creation efforts. He explained that the BRCs will be one-stop-shop business development & investment hubs, and information repositories, which will provide a full range of world-class business development services to potential and existing entrepreneurs at the district level, particularly those linked to the 1D1F initiative.
According to Mr. Kyeramaten, the BRCs will offer support services to contribute to the One-District-One Factory initiative, including adopting a more transformative approach to strategically integrate rural informal smallholder raw material supply base into corporate entities along various commodity value chains that have been identified to be relevant the 1D1F projects. The BRC would serve as the intermediaries to facilitate the organisation and establishment of the relationship between various actors in these value chains.
He explained the BRCs are expected to assist and support the various business promoters who are establishing the district factories under 1D1F.
He mentioned that beyond the 1D1F initiative, the Government is working with the private sector to bring in smaller machines for the processing of agriculture produce nationwide; and added that these smaller enterprises will require the services of the BRCs.
He indicated that the Government has, with the support of the funding partners of REP, has redirected some of the resources of REP to support the transformation of NBSSI into a world-class “Enterprise Ghana Development Authority”, with renewed financial resources and enhanced human resource capacity to ensure that there is development at the district level.
The 37 District and Municipalities where the BRCs are currently being constructed are:
Ahafo Ano South West, Asante Akim Central Municipal, Atwima Nwabiagya Municipal, Obuasi Municipal, Sekyere East District, Sekyere South, Ejisu Municipal in the Ashanti Region; Asunafo North Municipal, Atebubu-Amantin Municipal, Dormaa Central Municipal, Tano South Municipal, Techiman Municipal in the Brong Ahafo Region.
Others are Agona West Municipal, Assin Fosu Municipal, Awutu Senya District, and Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem Municipal of the Central Region; Asuogyaman District, East Akim Municipal and Kwaebibirem Municipal of the Eastern Region; and Ada East District, and Weija Gbawe Municipal in the Greater Accra Region.
The rest are Sagnerigu Municipal, West Gonja District, Yendi Municipal in the Northern Region; Bawku Municipal, Builsa North District and Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region; Jirapa Municipal, Sissala East Municipal, Wa Municipal in the Upper West Region; Hohoe Municipal, Kadjebi District, South Dayi District, South Tongu District in the Volta; and Sefwi-Wiawso Municipal, Shama District , and Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal in the Western Region.