The Ghana Footwear Manufacturers Association has petitioned the government to come clear on its policy on the local footwear manufacturing industry.
“We have been neglected for far too long as one of the nation’s most lucrative industries which employs more than 300,000 people along the value chain,” Mr Addo Kuffour, Spokesperson and an Executive Member of the Association, said.
Addressing a meeting of the Association at the Jubilee Park, Kumasi, he explained that the local footwear industry which served the needs of countries in the West African sub-Region, including Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and Cameroun had taken a considerable nosedive.
“We are no longer able to compete with the influx of imported and inferior products on the Ghanaian market, and this is a worry to all stakeholders,” he noted, adding that this called for prompt intervention on the part of government to save the situation.
The Association, amongst others, is advocating the promulgation of comprehensive policies and regulations to revamp the industry.
They are proposing the setting up of a local footwear enclave with state-of-the-art facilities, creation of ready market for local products and certification of manufacturers in order to streamline their activities.
Additionally, the footwear makers are asking the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), to partner the National Board for Small Industries (NBSSI) and related agencies to roll out comprehensive training regime to build the capacity of footwear manufacturers for efficient work.
Mr Kuffour said “if possible, the government should also issue a fiat to ban temporarily the importation of foreign footwear products for the benefit of the local industry.
Mr Kwame Buor, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Association for Small-Scale Industries (ASSI), disclosed that the leadership was collaborating with the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) to train and award certificates to footwear manufacturers.
They had also contacted the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) to come to their aid, since contemporary footwear manufacturing had become knowledge-based.
The programme, which was to discuss challenges and the future of the footwear industry saw presentations by various resource persons of the ASSI, including Messrs Sampson Omane-Yeboah, Kwaku Duah, Mensah Bonsu and Kwabena Tinkorang.