Long before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, wreaking havoc in its wake, Ghana had declared the intention to enact a vision for a ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’. Embodied within this vision is the realization of a self-sufficient country taking charge of its destiny and controlling the pace and direction of its growth.
However, devastating the COVID-19 pandemic has been, it has made it even more apparent the urgent need for us to take a critical look at our country and how we can optimize the response to the COVID-19 pandemic to be self-sufficient as a country.
The benefits of being self-sufficient have been well documented. For the most part, it helps to establish a better resilient economy that leads to communities’ development by ensuring sustainability and continuity.
Fortunately for the country, we are in a position to make this happen given the needed support. Ghana is endowed with natural resources with an enabling environment for Micro, Small and Medium scale Enterprises (MSMEs) to thrive.
While the Government of Ghana through the National Board for Small Scale Industries has initiated several interventions to drive the sustainability of MSMEs post-COVID-19, financial institutions remain a primary enabler for meaningful interventions.
It is within this broader discussion that a new addition to the state and private sector was unveiled at Tanoso in the Ashanti Region recently.
It is the USD$25 million Kasapreko factory at Tanoso in the Ashanti Region; a collaboration between Government and the private sector.
Chief Executive of Stanbic Bank, Alhassan Andani, speaking on the establishment of the factory said the bank is honoured to be associated with what has become a symbol of Ghanaian pride.
He was referring to the key belief by the bank that dreams can be made into reality in keeping with its mantra of IT CAN BE, the idea that any plan and project thought of and planned for can be actualized. The intent is to set the pace for providing a catalyst for local industries through the provision of finances
“We are proud to be a part of the success of Kasapreko, a company that started from a garage and has become a symbol of Ghanaian pride as a wholly owned Ghanaian beverage manufacturing. Their operations have created jobs, and been a source of income for the government and a life saver especially when they converted their alcohol line into the production of hand sanitizers to help stem the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 virus. This demonstrated that the country had the capacity to produce many of our needs locally”, Alhassan Andani said.
Alhassan Andani further said the bank’s vision of driving the growth of the country required them to support the establishment of the factory. He said, “When Stanbic Bank was approached in 2018 to consider supporting a project in Kumasi, we understood the passion of the company. We knew this was a vision we wanted to be part of because it also fitted into our strategic goal of Africa being our home and we driving its growth and we are proud to have taken that bold step.”
This project presents a classic case of what can be achieved when state and private actors join forces to build private businesses. Chairman of the Kasapreko Group, Dr. Kwabena Adjei, gave credence to this when he spoke at the commissioning ceremony. He said “There is the need for more collaboration between the private sector and Government to drive the growth we all desire. And I pray that the private sector is refined, motivated and remunerated to the greatest possible extent”.
“I am profoundly grateful to the Government of Ghana for the 1D1F initiative which has assisted Kasapreko to access a $25 million Stanbic Bank loan for the construction of the factory. The private sector is the engine of growth for every economy, but the private sector can only thrive in an enabling environment anchored by good ‘growth driven’ policies by Government. There is therefore the need for more collaboration between the private sector and Government to drive the growth we all desire. Indeed, Kasapreko appreciates its association with the Government of Ghana on the One District, One Factory initiative and finds it timely to have been supported by the Government to promote a Ghanaian owned business”, Dr. Kwabena Adjei added.
The Kasapreko multipurpose factory, which is set up on a 10,000-square metre property, has the capacity to produce 35,000 bottles per hour of juices and non-alcoholic drinks, and 15,000 bottles per hour of water, working at full capacity. The factory will employ 300 people directly, and also generate some 3,000 indirect jobs through the supply chain. This is a classic case that with the right support, and financial backing Ghanaian companies are able to rise to the occasion and work towards making the country self-sufficient