GFZA Profile

Mission

To help transform Ghana into the Gateway to West Africa by creating an attractive and conducive business environment through the provision of competitive free zone incentives and operation of an efficient “one-stop-shop” for the promotion and enhancement of domestic and foreign investment.

Vision

To facilitate a vibrant economy in Ghana, driven by a well-integrated business environment with world class capacity for competition, technological innovations, business growth, economic diversity and development.

Establishment

The Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA) was established on 31st August, 1995 by an Act of Parliament – The Free Zone Act 1995 (Act 504), is 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 Board operates under a regulation (L.I. 1618). Actual implementation of the Programme commenced in September 1996.

Concept

The Ghana Free Zones Programme 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 have the opportunity to use the free zones as a focal point to produce goods and services for foreign markets.

Functions of the Board

The Ghana Free Zones Authority has nine members who are appointed by the President in consultation with the Council of State.  The Board is chaired by the Minister of Trade & Industry. The board’s main role is to facilitate, regulate and monitor activities in the free zones.

Other Functions of the Board

  • Granting licenses to applicants
  • Assisting applicants for licenses under Act 504 by providing services for obtaining other relevant licenses, permits and facilities examining and recommending for approval, agreements and treaties relating to the development activities of the free zone
  • Monitoring activities, performance and development of Free Zones Developers and Enterprises.
  • Ensuring compliance by Free Zone Developers and Enterprises of the Free Zone Act and any other laws relevant to free one’s activities
  • Registering, keeping records and data on the programme of developers, operators and enterprises in free zones.
  • Performing such other functions as are incidental to the foregoing.

Tenure of Office

  • A member of the Board other than the Chairman shall hold office for a term of four years and is eligible for re-appointment.

Meetings of the Board

The Board meets once every month to deliberate on issues at such times and places as the Chairman may determine. The Chairman presides over all meetings of the Board. However, in his absence members elect one of their members to preside in line with provisions of the Act. Other procedures relating to meetings of the Board are outlined in the Free Zones Act 504.

Organizational Structure

An organizational structure of the GFZA has at its apex the Board, which is tasked with the responsibility of achieving stipulated objectives. The Act provides for the establishment of committees to assist the Board in the discharge of its functions.  Currently five (5) such committees have been established.  These are:

The current structure establishes five (5) main divisions, namely:

  • Finance and Administration Committee
  • Project Evaluation, Licencing and Legal Committee
  • Works and Acquisition Committee
  • Compliance Committee
  • Corporate Affairs and Investment Committee

Secretariat of the Authority

The Authority has a Secretariat, which is responsible for the day-to-day administration and implementation of the Board’s resolutions. The Secretariat has at its head a Chief Executive Officer who coordinates activities of the Secretariat and reports to the Board.  He is assisted by two Deputy Chief Executive Officers and other functional supervisors.

The current structure establishes Six (6) main divisions, namely:

  • Administration
  • Finance
  • Business Development and Research
  • Compliance and Monitoring
  • Estate and Zones
  • Management Information Systems

 

Services provided by GFZA include:

  • Providing information on investment opportunities in the free zone
  • Issuing licenses to approved free zone enterprises
  • Assisting in securing other permits from related agencies
  • Providing ready facilities i.e. serviced land and utilities at the Export Processing Zones
  • Obtaining work/residence permits for expatriates in the free zone
  • Providing any other services requested by investors provided the services are within the confines of the Scheme.

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