The time has come for companies, particularly those in the manufacturing sector, to source locally if they want to be resilient in the face of economic challenges such as pandemics, inflation and global supply chain disruptions.
The Managing Director of Fan Milk Ghana Plc, Yeo Ziobeieton, who made the remark, explained that by reducing their dependency on imports and embracing local alternatives, companies would not only mitigate risks but also create a robust and adaptable supply chain ecosystem.
Mr Ziobeieton was speaking at the opening of the 2023 Association of Ghana Industry (AGI) Industrial Summit and Exhibition in Accra.
The three-day event was on the theme: "Industrialisation through sustainable and efficient supply chains".
The platform was to enable members of the association, manufacturers, international bodies and agencies, industry players, government institutions, as well as the private sector, to deliberate on decisions that would enhance their operations and also provide opportunity for companies to showcase their products and services.
Citing FanMilk's collaboration with local entities for sourcing key ingredients such as soya, cassava and coconut among others, Mr Ziobeieton encouraged his fellow manufacturers to establish local partnerships.
He said by collaborating with local farmers, suppliers, and entrepreneurs, companies would not only ensure a consistent supply of high-quality raw materials but also contribute to the economic development of the communities they operated in.
The FanMilk Plc Managing Director, therefore, called on the government, ECOWAS and the African Continental Free Trade Area to join hands with companies to create an environment conducive for sustainable and efficient supply chains, and urged them to initiate policies that encouraged companies that prioritised local sourcing and sustainability.
“Specifically, we propose the establishment of a structured framework that can look into tax regimes, research grants, and financial support to businesses actively engaged in sustainable local sourcing practices. This will not only encourage companies to follow suit but also drive economic growth and job creation,” he stressed.
In the spirit of sourcing locally, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Kobina Tahir Hammond, disclosed that plans to manufacture vehicle components were underway to build the nation's competitiveness in the automobile industry.
Mr Hammond, who is also the Member of Parliament (NPP) for the Adansi-Asokwa Constituency, however, said the initiative would require collaboration with industry players to serve as the necessary investment centres for quality assurance, including the development of relevant national standards, advanced skills development within the industry, as well as retooling and upgrading of small-scale workshops.
The President of the AGI, Dr Humphrey Ayim-Darke, said although the nation's manufacturing sub-sector had stalled by about 11 per cent, the association had identified some locally made products that were in good demand in view of their comparative advantage.
He said the association was determined to scale up its production capacity, but said that would not be achieved without the necessary government support.
The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Ghana, Irchad Razaaly, said the nation was exporting $2 billion worth of goods and services to the EU.
He said the EU was ready to sell machinery to industries at cheaper prices to enable them to produce more made-in-Ghana goods for the local and international markets.