British govt to help revamp textile industry

The British government, through the UK-Ghana partnership for Jobs and Economic Transformation (JET), is supporting the government to transform sectors of high potentials, including the garments and textiles industry, the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Harriet Thompson, has said.

She added that the programme was helping to create the policy environment to drive investments into those sectors to operate at their fullest potentials,  generate wealth for the country and most importantly create the needed jobs for the people. 

Speaking on Tuesday during a facility tour of the Volta Star Textiles Limited (VSTL) in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region, she said her team was helping to lead the discussions to identify the right investors for the factory in area of financing to enable the factory return to its former days of full operations and production.

The factory, whose fortunes had been dwindling in the past years, employed 750 workers instead of about 2,000 workers at full plant capacity. 

Member of Parliament for North Tongu Constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, said discussions were far advanced with UK investors who had expressed interest in revamping the facility to provide jobs for not only people of North Tongu area, but the nation at large for national transformation as workers of the factory came from across the country.

He said the factory, which sits on a 65 acres of land with about only 30 per cent workforce, was under utilised due to lack of capital injection, hence there was the need for space expansion to boost the industrialisation drive of the country.

He disclosed that the British High Commissioner had also indicated that the neighbouring Akosombo Textile Limited (ATL) would also feature under the British Trade Portfolio which they were seeking to increase under the new Ghana-UK trade agreement.

He expressed optimism that the strategic investors would soon arrive from Britain to help revamp the factory to create more jobs for the people.

Chief of Dorfo Traditional Area, Togbe Agbohla VI, said the collapse of the factory had had negative impact on livelihood in the community, especially women and children, forcing some to drop out from schools while the youth engaged in various social vices.

He appreciated Mrs Thompson for the visit to Juapong to assist in addressing the current unemployment challenges in the district and by extension the nation.

Togbe Agbohla VI and his elders pledged their support to assist the initiative by Mrs Thompson to help alleviate poverty in the area.

FROM KEN AFEDZI-JUAPONG

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