The Kumasi Shoe Factory has begun mass production of fashionable shoes as part of its effort to cut down on the influx of foreign brands on to the local market.
The shoe factory, which has been producing safety and security boots and shoes for the uniformed security agencies, has now expanded its production to cover the demands of the general public.
The new designs are on display at its showroom close to the Elwak Sport Stadium, adjacent Ordinance School in Accra.
The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, during a launch of subsidiaries of the Defence Industries Holding Company Limited (DIHOC), inspected the company’s products at Burma Camp in Accra.
Kumasi Shoe Factory is owned by the DIHOC Footwear Division, a joint venture company between a Czech Republic company, Knights a.s., acting through its subsidiary, Knight Ghana Limited, and DIHOC, owned by the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
It was the first business set up under the DIHOC, which now has 12 other subsidiaries, which Dr Bawumia inaugurated.
Crucial private sector
In his address, Dr Bawumia said the government was keen on creating an enabling environment for businesses to partner the government in various development projects.
He stated that the collaboration between the GAF and the private sector was crucial in Ghana's quest to enhance its economy, adding that such partnerships were key to national development.
He urged the business community to go into more collaboration with the GAF.
Dr Bawumia expressed satisfaction with products made by DIHOC Footwear and commended the GAF for its efforts to make the factory more viable.
DIHOC Footwear determined
In an interview, the Board Chairman of DIHOC Footwear Division Limited (Kumasi Shoe Factory), Dr Karl Laryea, said the company was now in the position to produce all categories of shoes designed to satisfy the preference and taste of any segment of the public.
He said over the years, the company had invested in the acquisition of modern equipment that could be used to produce the same categories of shoes designed by celebrated brands in the world.
"DIHOC Footwear Division Limited can now produce shoes for corporate events, to be worn at weddings, executive meetings and any other occasion,” Dr Laryea said.
He said the company was in the process of producing large quantities of its new classic shoes to cover the West African sub-region, especially now that the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) was in operation with its head office located in Accra.
Dr Laryea, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Knights Ghana Limited, said efforts were in place to penetrate the local market and, therefore, called on Ghanaians to cut down their dependence on foreign products and patronise the company’s made-in-Ghana shoes.