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Ministry of Trade and Industry in Ghana bans the issuance of permits to new cement companies

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World Cement,

The Ministry of Trade and Industry in Ghana has banned the issuance of permits to companies that want to set up cement processing plants in the country. The ban is designed to encourage existing companies to grow and flourish, and the Ministry is also taking measures to prevent products being imported, according to Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, Ghana's Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, who said: "The ministry has taken note of the challenges in the industry and has decided not to increase the number of cement factories in the near future. Secondly, we have tried very hard to prevent the importation of the products into the country."

Ahenkorah noted that the ban was put in place to prevent the eight existing cement manufacturers from going up against unfair competition. The eight companies are Ghacem Limited, CIMAF Ghana Limited, Diamond Cement Group, Dangote Cement Ghana Limited, CBI Ghana Limited, Wan Heng Ghana Limited, Xin Ann Safe Cement Limited and Pozzolana Ghana Limited (PGL).

The Ministry is also said to be focusing on exporting cement to other neighbouring countries, as the eight existing cement manufacturers are producing around 13 million tpy but only utilising around half of that amount, leaving an excess capacity of 6.5 million t.

Ahenkorah however commented that the government will be open to allowing imports to compete with local manufacturers, should they choose to increase their prices without consultation.

"The actions we have adopted will be in place for a very long time, except when the manufacturers decide to turn themselves into cartels to sabotage it,” said Ahenkorah.

"This is because cement forms an integral part of the economic growth and development in Ghana and so, if you decide to increase prices of your product, it can change the political fortunes of a political party…So, we will not allow manufacturers to run away with the prices of the product.”

In terms of the current housing situation in Ghana, the Minister of Works and Housing, Samuel Atta Akyea, said, "With a population size of 30 million, it is sad that about one-third of us do not have decent accommodation and if the situation is not addressed, the country will soon run into chaos.”

Atta Akyea stated that a deal has been secured with a Moroccan firm, Addoha Group of Morocco, which is hoped to lead to the construction of affordable housing units for Ghanaians.

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