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24.04.2007 Business & Finance

Free Zones Enclave Attracts High Tech Firm

Hufra Compu-Tech Limited (HCT), a machine shop company using state-of-the art technology to produce various machine parts, has successfully been attracted into the Free Zones enclave.

Hufra Compu-Tech is a wholly owned Ghanaian company and one of the pioneer companies in the country that has deployed the Computer-Aided Designing (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) technology to produce its products.

The company is also the first company in the country to use the Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machine tools to manufacture precision machine products for the West African market.

The Managing Director and Technologist of HCT, Mr Michael Frank, said the company used state-of-art technology to design, manufacture, service, repair and re-condition machines and machine parts for the mining, automotive, agricultural, construction and many other industrial sectors.

HCT, which started operations in May last year, has provided services to multinational companies such as AngloGold Ashanti, Unilever Ghana Limited and Nestle Ghana Limited.

The company also provides services for Franpac (GH) Limited (another Free Zone Company) for its packaging materials and also supports the Kumasi Suame Magazine in providing quality machine parts.

Presently, the company is manufacturing fastened bolts and special bolts and nuts for export.

HCT has invested over $1 million in the project and has over the past year trained 30 young Ghanaians in handling this new technology.

“It is important to note that employment, training, transfer of skills/technology are some of the key benefits that the country derive from the Free Zones Programme,” Mr Frank stated.

He stated that with the computer-aided manufacturing technology the company could produce high quality products within relatively shorter periods and added that the CAD, CAM and CNC technologies were highly capital intensive, and required a high level of expertise.

He said to generate capital for growth of the company, HCT was looking for equity participation from investors to enable the company to procure raw materials to manufacture products on a large scale for the export market.

Mr Frank said the company intended to manufacture agro-processing machines for export within the sub-region of West Africa as part of its efforts to increase exports.

“HCT also has the technical expertise to manufacture motorbikes and other agricultural machinery and would be producing these items in the near future for export to the West African sub-region,” he stated.

Mr Frank however, stated that lack of capital was hampering the realisation of the company's vision of becoming the pacesetters in the creation of CAD and CAM precision parts within the sub-region of West Africa.

He called on the government to assist start-up companies such as HCT, since such companies had the potential to create wealth and jobs and eradicate poverty in the country.

Story Boahene Asamoah