The sugar factory, one of Ghana’s oldest factories, is located in the coastal community of Komenda, near Cape Coast, 144 km west of the national capital.
The EXIM bank invested 35 million U.S. dollars while the government of Ghana provided 1.5 million dollars.
“Every single cube of sugar that we eat here in Ghana is imported but Komenda is going to change that,” Mahama told the chiefs and people of the community at a colorful ceremony to mark the opening of the factory.
The president was hopeful that the resuscitated factory would play a role in the job creation drive of the government to imitate the example of Mauritius where sugar production alone provides jobs for 12 percent of the population.
The sugar factory, originally established by Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah in 1960, was closed down in the 1980s after years of mismanagement.
The West African country now spends at least 200 million dollars annually on sugar imports, thereby contributing greatly to the weakening of Ghana’s local cedi currency.
“Saving this money will be a major dent on perennial foreign exchange fluctuations we have been grappling with over the years,” Mahama added.
“The revival of the Komenda Sugar Plant was one of our major plans in the transforming lives agenda. It was providing jobs to 1,000 people directly when it was established. The collapse of the old factory led to a loss of jobs. We must keep this. Keep a watchful eye on this factory so it doesn’t go the way the old one went,” the president urged the locals.
Mahama urged traditional rulers to release lands to the youth to enable them to go into sugarcane cultivation to feed the factory, which has the capacity to process 1,250 tonnes of sugar per day. Enditem