A development partnership aimed at building and sharpening the vocational skills for managers and workers to drive Ghana’s apparel manufacturing sector was launched in Accra on Monday.
It is dubbed the: “Socially Responsible Jobs in Ghana’s Emerging Apparel Sector” and being championed through a private sector expertise and the German Development Cooperation.
The project forms part of the German Government’s develoPPP.de programme, set up by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
It is to ensure the private sector was developed to the point where business opportunities and development policy initiatives intersect, and to provide financial aid to companies investing in developing and emerging countries.
The apparel sector project is a partnership between Dignity Do the Right Thing (DTRT) Apparel, West Africa’s largest apparel manufacturer and exporter of sports lifestyle apparels, the Ethical Apparel Africa, a profit sourcing company that provide apparel brands, and the GIZ, a German organisation providing international cooperation services for sustainable development.
Dr Gerd Muller, Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, launched the partnership at the DTRT premises in Accra while Mr Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, witnessed the signing after which they toured the DTRT facility to familiarise with work there.
The German Minister and his entourage also took the advantage to explore investment opportunities in the textile sector.
“With this new strategic partnership, we are strengthening the apparel manufacturing industry in Ghana. The sector has the potential to creating high-quality jobs at scale and contribute to Ghana’s development without exploiting its workers,” he said.
“Therefore, it is about fair wages for decent work and a prosperous economic future for Ghana.”
Mr Ahenkorah later told the Ghana News Agency that the partnership was a good venture, which the Government was ready to support to revamp the textile and garment sector that started around 2002 under former President Kufuor’s PSI (Presidential Special Initiative.)
He said the garment sector, which had dipped over the years, was being brought back to life so it could employ many of the youth.
The Deputy Minister said squatters had taken over the apparel manufacturing enclave and that the Ministry would relocate them and bring back the manufacturers through a government stimulus package.
Mr Ahenkorah said the DTRT, which employed about 2000 workers with 80 per cent being women, and shipping about 600,000 sporting wear to the USA monthly, needed to be supported to operate smoothly.
Other local companies also needed to be supported under joint ventureships, register them under the free zone programme to bring in duty free raw materials, and export duty free and quota free to enable them gain more revenue to support the Ghanaian economy, he said.
He gave the assurance that the Government was ready to initiate policies to guide sector players to succeed.
Ms Salma Salifu, the Managing Director of DTRT, said the partnership was a welcomed venture and that DTRT was ready to support in providing practical internship opportunities for the ATTC interns, who were being trained under a GIZ support programme.
Offering such practical training for the interns was costly as they would be equipped to produce mainly for the US and other European markets due to the high demand and standardisation in international trade, she said.