By Prince Paul Amuzu:
District Chief Executive Officer of the Asuogyaman district in the Eastern region, Mr. Samuel Kwame Agyekum has hinted at intentions of the government to revamp the ailing Akosombo Textiles Limited. According to him, the exercise should restore the factory to its glory days and provide the much needed employment opportunities for young people in the Asuogyaman district.
The DCE made these assurances in an interview at his office, in anticipation of the commencement of the government’s ‘one district, one factory’ programme. According to him, revamping the factory as part of the government’s one district one factory programme would provide a lot of jobs for his constituents, adding that ‘the object of the one district one factory programme’ is to provide jobs for the people
‘The Asuogyaman district is going to participate fully in the one district, one factory initiative so that more jobs can be created especially for the youth. We are very lucky to have the Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL) and so we are going to invest seriously in the factory by upgrading it from its current status since a vibrant ATL can employ a lot of the youth. We are going to invest into human resource and the factory so that more jobs can be created for the district,” Mr. Agyekum asserted.
The DCE who acknowledged the private sector as the main stakeholder in the programme, added that the ATL is however not going to be the only focus of the Asuogyaman district in its pursuant of a factory. He also assured the district’s farmers of creating market avenues for their crops and other farm produce. He hoped that this would encourage farmers to increase their yield through increased cultivation to feed the several market avenues that would be created for them.
The Akosombo Textile Limited (ATL), one of the leading fabric companies in the country has been bedeviled with several challenges is on the verge of breaking down as a result of cheap imports from China.
Apart from the cheap imports from China, workers of the company have not been paid for some time due to low patronage of their products.
The textiles from China and other parts of the world are most of the time inferior, and are sold cheaply on the local market, making it difficult for the local textile products to compete and textile workers have called on government to ensure that fake or pirated products from these countries do not find their way into Ghana.
Ghana’s textile industry which was once the leader in Ghana’s industrial sector, has been declining over the years due to trade liberalization policies and programmes. These policies have made it almost impossible for Ghana’s textile products to compete with cheap imports from Asia.
Due to these challenges, there has been drastic reduction in production capacity which has also affected employment level.