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20.10.2008 General News

Kufuor Opens Zoomlion Tractor Plant

By Daily Guide

Prez. Kufuor Opens Zoomlion PRESIDENT JOHN Agyekum Kufuor last Friday cut the tape to open a tractor assembly plant and technology transfer centre at a colourful ceremony at Ahinsan, a suburb of Kumasi.  

The tractor and assembly plant is a brainchild of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, a leading private waste management company, in collaboration with Mahindra and Mahindra of India, one of the world's top five tractor brands.   

The new facility would ensure the manufacturing of tractors in the country; 30 percent of the tractor parts would be imported from India whilst the remaining 70 percent would be manufactured locally.   

The First Gentleman exhibited a great sense to duty when he defied a heavy downpour to partake in the event which received a huge patronage but lasted for just 30 minutes due to the incessant rain.   

The rain was so heavy that it debarred President Kufuor from seeing through his planned speech. All he could say was, “I declare the plant opened” and he was whisked away into a waiting car by his bodyguards.   

The setting up of the plant is basically to facilitate technology transfer from India in support of government's avowed aim of ensuring the mechanization of agriculture to ensure increase in production.   

It is also aimed at creating a platform for the training and development of the numerous mechanics throughout the country.   

Earlier, Mrs. Florence Larbi, GM of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, disclosed to the gathering that the project would ensure employment for about 200 people in the country, mostly artisans.   

She commended the government for creating the enabling environment for private sector activities to boom in the country and prayed for the sustenance of the estimable trend.   

The event was under the theme, 'Empowering the Garages through Technology Transfer'.   

It was attended by Ministers of State, MPs and chiefs, notable among them being Nana Frimpong Afoakwa, Asante Akyem Domeabra Paramount Chief who represented the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.   

Mrs. Larbi heaped tons of praises on the Asantehene for allocating a 26 acre land at Kodie to Zoomlion to develop as the project's centre.   

The plant is strategically sited at Ahinsan in Kumasi to take advantage of the numerous skilled mechanics located in the Suame Magazine area in the provision of local manpower for the plant.   

It is also to tap into the expertise of these mechanics in the fabrication of some tractor parts which could be produced locally.   

In his succinct but well articulated speech, Prof. Frimpong Boateng, Chairman of the PURC, who was the Chairperson of the occasion, warned Ghanaians against going back to military rule which stalled the nation's development in the past.   

He urged the populace to play meaningful roles to maintain the current democratic dispensation since it was the perfect way of governance for the country.   

On his part, Anand G. Mahindra, President of Mahindra and Mahindra of India said his outfit's partnership with Zoomlion Ghana Limited would ensure the transfer of its technology into the country, provide employment opportunities for the people and also create a platform for skills and training capacity building of local artisans needed in the global market.   

The project was made possible through the assistance of the Ministry of Trade, Industry, PSI and PSD, Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Garage Association of Ghana.

From Fred J.A. Ibrahim Jnr., & Morgan Owusu, Kumasi

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