The Kumasi Shoe Factory, a joint venture company between the Ghana Armed Forces and a Czech company, has opened a showroom in Accra to offer fashionable and trendy shoes to the general public.
From next year, the company, also known as the Defence Industries Holding Company Limited (DIHOC) Footwear Division Limited, will open showrooms in Takoradi, Temale and Kumasi as part of an aggressive plan to deepen its presence in Ghana and the West African sub-region.
It is also pledging to produce ladies’ shoes and customised shoes meant for people living with diabetes.
The DIHOC Footwear Division is a joint venture company between a Czech Republic company, Knights, acting through its subsidiary, Knight Ghana Limited, and DIHOC, owned by the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
The Board Chairman of DIHOC Footwear Division Limited (Kumasi Shoe Factory), Dr Karl Laryea, who made this known at the official opening of the showroom in Accra, said the company intended to expand to other countries in West Africa.
He said the company had started discussions with the Police Service of Angola to supply boots and shoes to it.
“We are currently having discussions on the pricing and we will start designing to meet their specifications when the deal is sealed.
“We have also made contact with the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat on how to enter into other African markets, and the discussions look positive,” Dr Laryea said.
Dr Laryea said the factory which used to produce safety and security boots and shoes for the uniformed security agencies, was now manufacturing to cover the demands of the general public.
“We were only manufacturing security boots and safety shoes for the security agencies as well as the construction industry but this year we have introduced fashionable shoes.
“Due to this development, we intend to increase our workforce from about 60 to an appreciable number by next year,” he said.
The Board Chairman of the Kumasi Shoe Factory explained that the factory had a capacity to produce 700,000 shoes per year but was only serving the security agencies which were less than 100,000 personnel.
The Board Chairman said the company was hopeful that entering the market with ladies’ shoes and shoes for people living with diabetes next year would be a game changer.
He observed that people diagnosed with diabetes were supposed to wear a specialised footwear to help them heal faster.
Dr Laryea said such footwear were not on the Ghanaian market, and that was why DIHOC Footwear Division intended to take advantage and produce for Ghana and beyond.
He said the DIHOC Footwear Division had built capacity with the right machinery to produce quality shoes to meet demand in the market.
“We have all the machines used in Asia, Europe and America to produce quality shoes with international standards for the market,” Dr Laryea stated.