Business News of Friday, 6 April 2018
Prefos Limited, a leading electrical and civil engineering company at Jachie in the Ashanti Region, has entered into €200 million investment agreement with Le-tehnika d.o.o. – a Slovenian company – to assemble and supply high-efficiency LED street luminaries in the sub-region.
As part of the agreement, the Slovenian company will help expand an electrical training centre established by Prefos at Jachie and equip it with modern facilities capable of producing highly-skilled electrical technicians for Ghana and the sub-region.
The deal will also include expansion and equipping of Prefos’ ultramodern factory to enable them to meet the needs and demands of an expanding market, while helping to train the youth in street-light assembling technology and maintenance services.
It is expected that about 2,540 youth, 10 from each district assembly, will benefit from the initial programme.
The deal was facilitated by the Ambassador to Italy, Paulina Patience Abayage who also has some concurrent ambassadorial responsibilities in other countries, including Slovenia, and is hoped to boost youth employment in the country.
At a visit to the factory as part of activities leading to signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two companies, the Ambassador noted that the partnership created feeds into the government’s drive to woo investors into the country.
She said this also comes to complement government’s industrialisation agenda, as well as the drive to get the youth active.
The Vice-President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Mr. Humphrey Ayim-Darke, at the ceremony observed that competitiveness remains a key issue to the AGI, particularly given that in the assembling plant industry it is a major determinant of products-prices and their success.
He noted it has become relevant in the wake of the current developments on the increase of some tariffs at the ports, due to the Common External Tariff inaugurated some five years back.
The development, he asserted, has led to some upward changes in tariff rates; but he said the AGI is engaging government to deepen education on the issue in order to bring a common understanding among members of the business community.
He said: “I bring it in because of the competitive nature of the industry in the economic space. Furthermore, the continental free zone agreement also expands your scope of business engagement across Africa”.
He said he believes that the endorsement of Prefos will be the gateway to the entire African region, while applauding the broader benefits the country and sub-region stand to gain from this partnership.
The President of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce, Nana Dr. Appiagyei Dankawoso I, while lauding the agreement also said the Chamber has been engaging government to improve the conditions for establishing a business in the country.
He emphasised that government does not do business and that the private sector is the engine of growth, and therefore commended the giant feat achieved by Prefos Limited.
He said ratification of the Continental Free Trade Area opens the doors for businesses which invest in the country to also have business access to other countries on the continent.
Nana Dr. Appiagyei Dankawoso I acknowledged that light is a critical security measure that contributes to economic growth, and for which praised the partnership’s timing – especially given that the quality of the lights will reduce electricity consumption.
It is believed that the collaborative agreement between Prefos and Le-tehnika comes with many other potential benefits, not only for Ghana but also for the government and people of Slovenia.
For instance, at the national level, the partnership agreement will establish Ghana as the manufacturing base of the Luxtella luminaries in West Africa. This will make Ghana the hub of the brand and supplier of the luminaries to other markets in Africa.
It will also among others lead to the creation of jobs as part of government’s efforts at addressing youth unemployment, while also deepening and strengthening relations between the two countries.