UK urged to help revive defunct Kumasi factories

Kumasi- The United Kingdom (UK) has been asked to assist in reviving defunct factories in Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest and oldest city, to help create jobs for the growing population.

Mr. Osei Assibey-Antwi, Mayor of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), said some economically viable factories, which hitherto, provided jobs for the citizenry had been dormant for many years now.

It includes the Neoplan Assembly Plant – which was providing buses for transport, Shoe Factory – providing different types of foot wears, Jute Factory – providing sacks for cocoa, coffee and other commodities, as well as the Brewery and Cocoa Processing Factory – which took care of the abundant cocoa produce in the Ashanti Region.

Mr. Assibey-Antwi, making the appeal at the maiden UK-Ghana Business Council (UKGBC) forum in Kumasi, credited the UK government for some significant investments in the Region to improve the living conditions of the people.

It is involved most recently, in the modernization and expansion of Kumasi Central Market, the largest open-air market facility in the West African sub-Region, the expansion of Kumasi Airport and construction of the Bekwai Hospital.

There could not have been a better time for strategic economic partnership than now, the Mayor remarked, stressing that investing in the agro-processing sector, for instance, in Kumasi and its environs would be one of the best economic decisions.

This is due to the city’s central geographical and socio-economic location, especially in terms of raw materials, labour and the ports to facilitate activities along the value chain.

The UKGBC forum, co-chaired by the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr. Iain Walker, and the Mayor, Mr. Assibey-Antwi, provided the platform to discuss avenues for possible partnership between the UK and Ghana.

It looked at infrastructure and agricultural development, and most importantly, industrialization.

Mr. Assibey-Antwi reiterated the Nana Akufo-Addo-led Administration’s commitment to build an economy that is not dependent on charity and hand-outs, but an economy that will look at the proper management of its resources.

Out of this agenda, he noted, had been born the implementation of some viable policies, including ‘One District, One Factory (1D1F)’, which seeks to encourage investment across the length and breadth of the country.

Mr. Walker said the UKGBC was set up to advance economic partnership efforts between the two countries.

It serves as a platform in bringing together government officials on each side to create avenues for trade, investment and development.

I am delighted to co-host the first UKGBC regional forum alongside the Mayor of Kumasi. It is exciting to know that less than a year since the launch of Council, we are taking practical steps to expand our engagement, the British Commissioner noted.

On the side-line of the forum, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the KMA and British High Commission to help accelerate socio-economic develop for the mutual benefits of the two countries.

Source: Ghana News Agency