In a bid to operate as a leading advocate for the local cement manufacturing industry, Ghana's cement manufacturing companies have formed an association to protect and accelerate the development of the industry.

The Cement Manufacturers Association of Ghana (CMAG) which was formally inaugurated on July 2, 2018 in Accra to promote the interest of its members through targeted collaboration.

Current membership includes the following companies: GHACEM Limited (Tema, Takoradi) Diamond Cement Group (Aflao, Buipe in the Northern Region and Takoradi) and CIMAF Ghana Limited (Tema).

Mr. Raju Baddharaju (Diamond Cement Group) has been appointed as the first chairman of the Governing Board.

Also, Dr. George Dawson-Ahmoah, Strategy & Corporate Affairs Director of GHACEM was appointed the first Executive Secretary with effect from August 3, 2018.

Other members that constitute the Governing Board include: Mr Morten Gade-Member (Ghacem Limited), Mr. Eugene Laryea-Member (Ghacem Limited), Mr. N. Venkatesh-Member (Diamond Cement Group), Mr. Mohamed Bennis-Member (CIMAF Ghana Limited) and Mr. Joseph Aboo-Member (CIMAF Ghana Limited)

The Association which is registered as an Associate member of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) to promote, lobby, advocate and support matters affecting the cement manufacturing industry in the country is earmarked to operate in the likes of the Ghana Chamber of Mines which represents the interest of all mining companies and the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications which represents telecommunication companies in the country.

The association, the constitution clarifies, “is not a cartel, but an umbrella body for cement manufacturers in the country. By cement manufacturer, we mean member companies that are into manufacturing i.e converting raw materials into finished cement products either bulk or bagged in Ghana”

Dr. George Dawson-Ahmoah who read it out in his welcome address noted the coming together of the cement manufacturers was in recognition of the enormous value addition that is being created by the companies making the industry a strategic one in the economic development of Ghana.

“All together we have an installed production capacity of about 8.6 million tons per annum and creating over 3,000 own and outsourced employees with an average financial contribution of over 500 million Ghana cedis — direct, indirect taxes, port dues etc — also creating extended business offers to various business entrepreneurs,” he revealed.

Dr Dawson-Ahmoah further indicated that by the close of the year an additional manufacturing set up with a total capacity of about 1.6 million tonnes is expected making a total installed capacity of 10.2 million tonnes per annum which he argued shows the economic importance of the cement manufacturing industries.

He, therefore, called for a united front among the manufacturers to ensure adequate protection against unfair trade practices.

The event brought together eminent personalities and top industry players in the Trade and Cement Industry.

Notable among them included: Mr. Carlos Ahenkorah, Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry who was the Special guest; Dr. Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, President of AGI; Prof. Alex Dodoo, Director General-Ghana Standards Authority; Mr. Tony Oteng-Gyasi, Past President of AGI and Mr. Edward B. Ashong-Lartey, Director-Investment Services, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC)

Mr Ahenkorah, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry in his inaugural address praised the cement manufacturers for the union observing that the country is endowed with enormous raw materials as such, any investment that will promote the use of such materials will have the full backing of Government.

The government, he said, intends to grow the economy through industrialization with the main target being employment thereby any effort to create more jobs was welcoming. He assured of Government’s support to see the Association grow and seized the occasion to urge members to use the platform to ensure cement prices are stable.

Commenting, Chairman of the Association, Mr Baddharaju noted the objective of coming together as an Association was to protect the local cement industry from unfair trade practices to be able to grow and support the economy. He on behalf of members of the Governing board pledged their preparedness to work together and ensure transparency and focus on activities that will foster the growth of the industry.

He recounted efforts made by members in 2015 which saw the realization of the Legislative Instrument (LI 2240) for the protection from unfair trade practices and urged members to still use the Ghana International Trade Commission (GITC Act 926) for the uncontrolled bagged cement into the country to protect local cement manufacturers.

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