Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has inaugurated twelve (12) joint venture production companies under the Defence Industries Holding Company Limited (DIHOC) of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), with a call on the business community to venture more into such collaborations with the armed forces.
“[It is] Interesting, and it is very important [to know that], these are all joint venture entities formed between private companies and the Ghana Armed Forces. Therefore, this development presents a beautiful synergy between the efficiencies availed by the private sector and the institutional discipline and diligence availed by the armed forces in driving the industrialisation strategy of the government,” he stressed.
According to him, such collaborations between the private sector and the army will help to develop a diversity of production value-chain that will mutually benefit both the civilians and the military.
The event also witnessed the commissioning of several construction equipment provided by the Jospong Group of Companies (JGC) as its role in the joint venture company.
The construction equipment will enable the various field engineers of the GAF to undertake various construction works. These include roads, buildings and also managing and maintaining the fleet of JGC.
Dr. Bawumia made the call while speaking at the inauguration of 12 new joint venture companies under DIHOC, and the commissioning of construction ceremony on Monday, April 4, 2022, at the Burma, Accra.
Among the 12 entities are DIHOC Footwear Division, DIHOC Primesec Ghana Ltd., Defence Electronic Technology Limited, DIHOC Blackswan International Ltd., DIHOC MacDan Logistics Solutions Ltd., 360 Defence Builders Ghana Ltd., DIHOC Energy West Ghana Limited, DIHOC Denzel Ghana Limited and others.
He noted that though the GAF have had DIHOC, “this entity has not been leveraged significantly to catalyst the industrialisation of our country until now.”
This state of affairs in the GAF, he indicated, were among the reasons the Akufo-Addo administration instituted the flagship programme One District One Factory in the clarion call for a Ghana Beyond Aid.
He said the creation of such an industrial complex has the potential of creating 1,5000 direct jobs, hence described as “amazing” the over a billion dollars investment portfolio being provided by the private sector under the partnership.
The vice president hinted that there were ongoing arrangements to increase the number of companies under the industrial complex, including the development of a 20,000-acre land into a cattle ranch and other agro-businesses, among other businesses.
He, therefore, assured the companies of the government’s support to ensure that they thrive to become the bedrock of a defence industrial complex that will not only serve the security and defence needs of Ghana and Africa, but also countries across the world.
While applauding the GAF for their continuous efforts to preserve Ghana’s territorial integrity and the general peace across, Dr. Bawumia pointed out that the current system of armaments acquisition through purchase agreements has been best with several challenges
“The Ghana Armed Forces and all other security establishments in the country have depended mainly on the import of security hardware and equipment for their operations. Armaments such as armoured vehicles, weapons, ammunition, and communication systems are all procured from external entities, mostly through sale and purchase agreements. This structure of armaments acquisition through purchase agreements raises several challenges that continue to undermine the efficiency of the GAF,” he said.
Additionally, he indicated that most of the foreign suppliers do not have a local logistics support in Ghana to help maintain these very expensive and sophisticated armaments.
Consequently, the maintenance and support required for these defence and security assets’ effectiveness are not readily available.
Consequently, Dr. Bawumia said the maintenance and logistical support for these assets usually come with huge costs to the government even in cases where these ammunitions are donations from other countries.
Again, he said these challenges also shorten the life spans of these assets and reduce optimum functioning during use in some instances.
“Also there is little skill transfer and no technology transfer in such sales and purchase arrangements with foreign suppliers,” the vice president bemoaned.
Dr. Bawumia used the occasion to commission several construction equipment provided by the Jospong Group of Companies (JGC). He also performed a sod-cutting ceremony for the construction of a medical facility for the GAF.
The Director of Legal, GAF, General Benjamin Amoah Boakye, said the GAF have had a very good relationship the JGC for the past years.
He said the fleet on construction equipment provided by JGC will enable the 48 and 49 Field Engineers of the GAF to embark on various construction works
The event was attended by the Chief of Staff, Honourable Akosua Frema Osei Opare, Deputy Minister of Defence, Hon. Kofi Amankwa Manu, military chiefs, and captains of industry.