Ghana’s Vice-President has said the government’s mass production of personal protective equipment (PPE) locally, to aid the fight against COVID-19, demonstrates the government’s commitment toward promoting local industries.
Tens of thousands of government-ordered PPE such as face masks, medical scrubs and medical gowns are being produced locally by some garment manufacturing companies.
Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, on Friday, 17 April 2020, toured three of the companies producing the PPE, namely; Dignity DTRT, Sleek Garments and Cadling Fashion.
Speaking during the tour, Dr Bawumia, who was accompanied by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, said that the government is committed to supporting the growth of local industries, hence its decision to locally produce PPE to support the growing demand for them in battling the coronavirus crisis.
“As you know, we are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and one of the challenges we have in this country and across all countries has been how to protect our frontline health workers. There is a global demand, whether you are talking about the UK or the US, there is a shortage of personal protective equipment or PPE.
“We have been looking at how to get these PPE to our health workers because we don’t want them, in the process of saving our lives, to also lose their lives, so, we were looking at how to do it. You know, we have a real champion of Ghanaian industries in the person of the Minister of Trade and Industry. He said that we should look at producing these PPE in the country. We discussed it at Cabinet and it was adopted very quickly.”
Dr Bawumia, who was impressed by the efficiency of the companies producing the PPE, gave the assurance that the government will continue to support them to produce health equipment post-COVID-19.
“The government is fully committed [to local industries] not just in this short term but long term. So, you can expect more orders,” said the Vice-President.
“Once production capacity gets to where it should be, then we will not have any need to import these items going forward.”
“This will be part of the post-COVID-19 architecture and we will be having these sort of things produced in Ghana rather than importing, and this is what the President was talking about; take these opportunities to grow Ghanaian industries, create jobs in Ghana, create income and I think that is what you are doing here.”
The Vice-President also commended workers at the factories for their skill and commitment.
“Today, we are seeing what Ghanaian ingenuity and industry are all about,” Dr Bawumia said.
“We can see these hard-working women and men who are working so efficiently. I am very privileged to come and see the actual activity taking place.”