The Ministry of Trade and Industry in Ghana has moved to ban imports of cement into the country.
The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has backed the initiative, arguing that the ban will protect the local industry which already has an excess of capacity.
In March, this year the Ministry of Trade and Industry proposed imposing a ceiling on the annual importation of cement into Ghana through a legislative instrument.
The sector minister Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, who announced the decision to restrict imports in a statement, instructed all cement importers in the country to apply for permits. However, companies legitimately licensed under the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme were exempt from applying for permits.
The directive is also expected to ensure that cement imported into the country meets quality standards in order to protect the construction industry.
Analysts say Africa's leading cement manufacturer, Dangote Company and other cement importers will face challenges in Ghana, following plans by the government to restrict cement imports into the country.
The country currently imports over 1Mt of cement per annum. This, according to the minister, has created a surplus of supply in the industry.