The Bibiani Anhwiaso Bekwai Municipal is predominately an agrarian economy with minimal activities of secondary and tertiary sectors. Agriculture employs about 76% of the total labour force. Agriculture is rain fed in the municipal and characterised by the use of outmoded farm implements and cultural practices. However, the municipal has high potential for agro-processing, which is yet to be tapped. The Municipal economy is described in terms of structure, Major Economic Activities, Services, Revenue and Expenditure Status and Inter/Intra-Trade, etc.
Structure of Local Economy
This section of the plan looks at the structure of the economy with respect to the performance of the various sectors namely agriculture, industry and the services, in terms of employment and contribution to household income. As stated earlier, the structure of the local economy is skewed towards agriculture, which employs about 76% of the municipal’s working population with 55.3% female participation. Next to agriculture is the service sector. The industrial sector, which is dominated by small-scale industries follows the service sector in term of the working class. Although the Municipality has great potential in agro-processing, the weak nature of its industrial sector remains a constraint to the balanced development of the municipal.
This is the fastest growing sector in the municipal; employing 9,246 people representing 19.2% of the total labour force employed in the year 2000 and 15,664 people in the year 2005 representing 27%. It is the highest contributor to household income (35%).
Type of Service
a. Petty Trading
Petty trading is the dominant form of service activity in the Municipality. About 74.3% of those in the service are employed in this area. Clerical work and “others” (driving, tailoring, hairdressers, banking etc) account for 9.4%and 17.2% respectively. There are other services available in the municipal such as banking, telecommunication and postal services, electricity, security (Police and Immigration) and judicial services.
There are three commercial banks and three rural banks operating in the municipal namely SG Bank Limited at Bibiani, Merchant Bank at Bibiani, HFC Bank Limited at Sefwi Bekwai, Upper Amenfi Rural Bank Ltd at Sefwi Bekwai, Sefwiman Rural Bank Limited at Bibiani and Amanano Rural Bank Ltd at Bibiani. the Municipality's capital has almost all the major financial institutions in the municipal. This is attributed to the fact that Bibiani is the hub of commercial activities. These financial institutions contribute towards the development of the municipal through the granting of credit facilities.
There are other financial institutions like the Susu and Co-operative credit unions which operate big towns in the municipal. One thing about these financial institutions is that they are easily folded-up. The difficulty people experience with this phenomenon is that people find it extremely cumbersome to retrieve their moneys mobilised by these financial institutions which sometimes end at the law courts. Such spatial distribution of financial institutions in the municipality enhances people access to banking services.
A critical look at the revenue base of the Bibiani Anhwiaso Bekwai Municipal Assembly reveals that the Assembly relies heavily on government grants comprising Local Government Grants, Central Government Grants, Ceded Revenue and Municipal Assembly Common Fund and sometimes Donor support. The Municipal Assembly’s internally generated revenue is vibrant and very much appreciable as compared with inflows from external sources (Grants). Table 1.18 shows the general overview of revenue patterns of the municipal within the last four years (2010-2010).
Grants to the Assembly far exceeded the internally generated revenue due to the following factors:
- Poorly developed market infrastructure in the Municipality.
- Inadequate regular revenue staff.
- Low calibre of Revenue Collectors.
- Inadequate logistics for the Revenue Mobilisation Unit.
- Unwillingness of the people to pay taxes.
- Poor database on revenue mobilisation
The number of revenue staff is 15 in 2014 of which 66.6% are commission collectors as indicated in Table 18.
As stated under the physical characteristics of the profile, the Municipality is well endowed with many economic resources, which tremendously support the national economy of Ghana. These resources include cocoa, timber and mineral deposits (Gold and Buaxite) as well as fertile soil for the cultivation of variety of crops. However, the people and for that matter the municipal are yet to receive the full benefit of these mineral deposits and other equally important potential resources that are being are exploited. This has influenced the slow pace of development of the municipal.
Inter/Intra – Trade
Like any other place, trading activities take place within and outside the Municipality. The Municipality with its strategic location trades with neighbouring communities in other districts in Ghana such as Atwima Mponua, Wassa Amenfi West, Sefwi Wiawso, Upper Denkyira West and Amansie West.
Goods which are normally associated with inter trade of the Municipality are second-hand clothes, foot wares, cooking utensils, electrical gadgets and many more. The Municipality also transacts business with the outside world mostly in foodstuffs because of the nature of its economy, which is mostly dominated by agricultural products.
In addition, intra-trade goes on well in the municipal as the two major towns have market centres. During market days, the people in the municipal who are mostly farmers bring their foodstuffs and other agriculture products to the market centres for sale.
The main commodities for export to the neighbouring Districts, other parts of the country and outside the shores of Ghana mainly include agricultural products (food crops) such as plantain, cocoyam, cassava etc and (cash crops) as cocoa, wood.
The inter-trade between the Municipality and outside world has the potential of improving the locally or internally generated revenue base of the Assembly and individuals as people who come to the municipal to do business are taxed. It also opens up the municipal for development. Inter-trade has the potential of creating effective interaction and peaceful co-existence among towns, villages and the people in the municipal.
However, inter-trade puts pressure on the limited infrastructure facilities and creates security problems for the Municipality. Again, it poses health problems for the Municipality, especially in terms of HIV/AIDS.
Local Economic Development (LED) Issues
Local economic development which includes various local initiatives to tap the local economic resources for economic growth and improve the lives of the pro-poor people is not fully developed in the Municipality due to inadequate socio-economic infrastructure base and inadequate human capacity.
Some are designed specifically to help poor people directly while others are created to support economic
growth in the Municipality. Due to their significant impact on the growth of the local economy, the Assembly within the next plan period will concentrate in the following areas in promoting local economic development. These include;
- supporting micro enterprises (run by one or two persons)
- supporting small business development
- providing skill training
- encouraging domestic or foreign investment by providing infrastructure-like good roads, electricity, or further reducing crime
- providing municipal services such as education, health, regulations etc which support LED
Date Created : 11/19/2017 3:05:08 AM