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Be positive in reportage to attract foreign investors- 1st Deputy Speaker tells Journalists

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The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament and MP for Bekwai, Joseph Osei Owusu has charged journalists to at all times defend Ghana in their reportage.

According to him, “as press people you’re entitled or encouraged to be biased towards Ghana to make Ghana attractive to other Countries or foreigners for possible investment”.

Speaking at The Ghana Free Zone Board (GFZB) sponsored one day capacity building workshop for The Parliamentary Press Corps (PPC) under the theme: “The Parliamentary report as an effective link between Parliament and the public”, in Accra, Mr. Osei Owusu reminded the media of their core duties of educating and informing the public.

He said, “it is important that the media understand and know the workings of the some these public institutions as established in order to accurately report on them”.

Speaking on topic, “execution of Parliamentary oversight responsibilities on GFZB and other Government Agencies”, The MP for Tamale Central, Member of Trade, Industry and Tourism Committee in Parliament, Inusah Fuseini noted that Parliamentary supervision jurisdiction is about investigation and query, which come in form of Statements and questions directed at The Sector Ministers.

He state that, “once Parliament approves Annual budget for public institutions like GFZB, it’s incumbent on it by law to police how those funds are spent or disburse including their internal Generated Funds (IGF)” as a control mechanism to protect the public purse.

Some of The Senior officers from The Board took time to explain key issues and responded to series of questions asked by the participants.

The participants were taken through the following topics: Background, legal mandates and operational scope of The GFZB and it impact on the development of The Country, The role of The Ministry of Trade and Industry in ensuring acceptably delivery from GFZB and processes for issuing, monitoring and revocation of licence of companies and it’s significance to the economy.

The rest are: achievement, challenges and the purpose of the investment week benefits to investors, as well as future prospects of The GFZ Enclave and the role of stake holders.

The Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA) was established on 31st August, 1995 by an Act of Parliament the Free Zone Act, 1995 (Act 504), to enable the establishment of free zones in Ghana for the promotion of economic development; to provide for the regulation of activities in free zones and for related purposes.

The implementation of the Programme actually commenced in September 1996. The Authority has nine board members appointed by the President in consultation with the Council of State.

The Authority is chaired by the Minister of Trade and Industry.

The day-to-day activities of the Authority are managed by a Secretariat headed by a Chief Executive Officer.

The Ghana Free Zones Programme combines both the enclave and single-factory enterprise schemes which is designed to promote processing and manufacturing of goods through the establishment of Export Processing Zones (EPZs) and, encourage the development of commercial and service activities at sea-and air-port areas.

In essence, the whole of Ghana is accessible to potential investors who can use the free zones as a focal point to produce goods and services for foreign markets.

The Ghana Free Zones Programme is completely private sector driven. Government’s role is limited to facilitate, regulate and monitor activities of zone developers/operators and enterprises.

Story by Edzorna Francis Mensah

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