President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday laid the foundation stone for the construction of a computerised metal casting factory that will be used to manufacture tools, spare parts and instruments to support various sectors of the economy.
The Foundry and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Machine Tooling Centre at the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) in Accra will manufacture tools, spare parts, bolts and nuts and the likes to support agriculture, the oil and gas industry, road construction and the automotive industry.
The centre will also help develop moulds to improve on the manufacture of machine parts for automotive and agro-processing implements and facilitate cutting-edge research into foundry technology to provide new materials and processes for Ghanaian foundry industries to remain competitive.
It will further manufacture metal cast products, especially aluminium, for both the local and foreign markets.
President Akufo-Addo said it was important that countries acquired the capacity to design and build the basic tools and equipment needed to support their way of life, saying that was the reason that the government was establishing the centre.
He said facilities at the centre would provide technical support for policy initiatives of the government such as the One-district, One-factory (1D1F), which had been established in many districts across the country and provided jobs for the youth.
“More importantly, the centre will put us in a position to develop and grow the talents of skilled and innovative young Ghanaians who graduate from our schools and universities,” the President added.
He further explained that the establishment of the centre was a key component of a much broader strategic framework designed to ensure that Ghana's social and economic development was driven by science, technology and innovation.
He observed that since 1928, the country’s economy, like those of many countries on the continent, had generally remained structurally rigid, depending largely on the export of primary commodities such as gold, cocoa, bauxite and timber.
He attributed the situation to the fact that Ghana imported almost all equipment, machinery and parts for its industry, especially the manufacturing sector.
“This has not allowed the manufacturing base of our country to grow and expand and has thus rendered our economy incapable of creating the thousands and thousands of jobs that our young people yearn for to raise their living standards,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo later planted a tree and inspected nuclear reactors at the GAEC.
The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, said the centre would position Ghana to modernise the metal recycling units of small-scale foundries.
He said it would also enable the production of a broad range of metal and plastic elements, adding that many industries needed accurate, consistent and complex parts that only machines that used CNC technology could produce.