Kumasi Shoe Factory has begun the mass production of fashionable shoes as part of its effort to cut down local demand and the influx of foreign brands on the Ghanaian market.
The shoe factory, which has over years been producing safety and security boots and shoes for the uniformed security agencies, has now expanded its production to cover specifications, designs and tastes of the general public, especially the fashion industry.
The new designs will be found at it showroom located close to the El-wak Sport Stadium, adjacent to the Ordinance School in Accra.
The new designs were displayed, outdoored and viewed by Vice President Dr. Mahammudu Bawumia at Burma Camp in Accra.
The event was at the inauguration of Defence Industries Holding Company Limited (DIHOC) and the sod-cutting ceremony for various projects under the company.
Kumasi Shoe Factory, also known as Dihoc Footwear Division, is joint venture between a Czech Republic-based company – Knights a.s., acting through its subsidiary, Knight Ghana Limited – and DIHOC Holding Company, owned by the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
Vice President Address
Earlier In his address, Dr. Mahammudu Bawumia said government is keen on creating an enabling environment for businesses to partner government in various development projects.
He mentioned that the collaboration venture between GAF and the private sector is crucial in Ghana’s quest to enhance its economy, adding that such partnerships are key to national development.
He urged the business community to go into more collaborations with the GAF.
Dr. Bawumia also pledged government support to sustain policies required for empowering smooth business between government and private sector.
The Vice President was impressed with Dihoc Footwear products, and commended GAF for its effort to make their product more viable.
DIHOC Footwear determined
Speaking in an interview at the event, the Board Chairman of DIHOC Footwear Division Limited (Kumasi Shoe Factory), Dr. Karl Laryea, said the company “is now in a position to produce all categories of shoes designed to satisfy the preference and exact taste of the general public”.
He said, over the years, investment has been made in the acquisition of modern equipment that can be used to produce the same categories of shoes being designed by celebrated designer brands in the world.
“DIHOC Footwear Division Limited can now produce shoes for corporate events which can be worn at weddings, executive meetings and any other occasion,” Dr. Laryea said.
He said the company is in the process of producing large quantities of its new classic shoes to cover the West African sub-region, especially now that the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) is in operation with its head office located in Ghana.
Dr. Laryea, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Knights Ghana Limited, said efforts are being put in place to penetrate the local market – and therefore called on Ghanaians to cut down their dependence on foreign products and patronise made in Ghana shoes produced by the company
He said although the company is investing heavily to come out with all categories of shoes, including the fashionable designs, it will take support and patronage by the people of Ghana for the company to expand its operations.
Dr. Laryea mentioned lack of support as one of the major challenges Kumasi Shoe Factory has been facing.
He said it will go a long way to empower the company if needed policies are instituted and revived to sustain gains and the operation of Kumasi Shoe Factory.
Dr. Laryea mentioned that if government can revive the policy of Achimota School sandals, which was initiated in 2014 as part of the effort to empower Kumasi Shoe factory to supply sandals to all schools, the company would be in a position to triple its production and workforce.
He also stressed the need for security agencies to increase purchases of their products, considering assurances made to the company prior to its resuscitation.
“If the security agencies – which include the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana Fire Service, The Customs Service and GAF – with a total of approximately 100,000 personnel demand more products, employee numbers will shoot up from 200 to 800 within 5 years,” Dr. Layea said.
Additionally, he called on government to grant a waiver of taxes on imported raw materials for a five-year period spanning 2023 to 2028.