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10.05.2004 Business & Finance

Ministry embarks on programmes to revamp old industries

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Kumasi, May 10, GNA - The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Presidential Special Initiative (PSI) has embarked on a number of programmes designed to help upgrade old and existing industries, while encouraging the establishment of new ones especially at the rural areas. The programmes include the Technology Improvement Programme (TIP), Education and Training and the Rural Industrial Development Programme.

Mr Ismael Ashitey, Minister of State in-charge of large-scale industries of the ministry, announced this in Kumasi on Monday when he visited the Nnuro Kente Industries and the Afanko 1968 Limited as part of his three-day tour of industrial facilities in the Ashanti region.

The Nnuro Kente Industries is a cotton yarn dying enterprise, while the Afanko 1968 Limited is an enterprise that manufactures egg crates, using waste papers.

The Minister's tour would also take him to Britak Steel Complex near Ejisu as well as Pideck Furniture Works, Appiah Menkah Company Limited, Ashfoam, Maxwell Owusu Timbers and Pedro White Chalk Limited, all in Kumasi.

Mr Ashitey explained that the programmes, especially the TIP had a package embodied in it, which could help industrialists have their equipment assessed and later assisted financially to procure more modern machines.

He therefore advised industrialists to take advantage of the TIP to help improve upon the viability of their industries.

He said the focus of the ministry is now more on helping industries grow than trade, because of the realisation that it is only through industries that the Ghanaian economy could be salvaged from its doldrums and "not merely through buying and selling".

At Nnuro Kente, Mr Kwaku Nnuro, the Managing Director, told the minister that the basic problem confronting the industry was finance for expansion of the business.

He told the minister that even though the industry currently employs 120 people, it could have done better if it had assistance for expansion.

The story was not different at Afanko 1968 Limited.

Mr David Darko-Mensah, Chief Executive Officer of the company, also appealed for assistance to replace his obsolete equipment, which he said had been in operation for the past 27 years.

He said because of the age of the machines, it was now difficult securing the spare parts, as they were no longer in production.

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