The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has inaugurated 12 Joint Venture companies under the auspices of the Defence Industries Holding Company Limited (DIHOC) of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to lay the foundations for a defence industrial complex.
The companies, engaged in a wide variety of activities, include DIHOC- Primesec Ghana Limited (construction of both vertical and horizontal infrastructure); Defence Electronics Technology Limited (assembling of electronic items such as Computers, Tablets, Phones, Prepaid Metres, and Electronic Point of Sale devices); DIHOC – Black Swan International Limited (manufacturing of small calibre ammunition); and DIHOC – Kenaki Manufacturing Company Limited (DIKMAC) – for the assembling of Armoured vehicles, including armoured bullion vans as well as weapons.
Other companies are DIHOC-McDan Logistics Solutions Limited – For the development of an Ultramodern onshore Logistics Hub and an Amusement Park; DIHOC – Careworld Ghana Limited – For the “The Greater Good Project” which consists of the development of a 1500 Bed Hospital, Health Farms, Pharmaceutical Company and a Veterans Village; DIHOC-Radi Ghana Limited – For the development of a Beachfront District; and DIHOC-Hawkrad Limited – For the development of a mixed-use commercial complex.
The rest are 360 Defence Builders Ghana Limited – For the construction of both vertical and horizontal infrastructure; DIHOC Energy West Ghana Limited – For the construction and operation of oil and gas service stations; DIHOC – Denzel Ghana Limited – For the “Restoring Ghana Project” which aims at dredging river bodies in the country, and DIHOC FCC Ghana Ltd – For the Construction of the Accra Economic Smart City.
There are also a number of ongoing arrangements to increase the number of companies under the industrial complex, including the development of 20,000 acres of land into a cattle ranch and other agro-businesses; a garment factory; iron rods manufacturing factory; an aquafarming project, and a tourist site; and a solar project.
According to officials of the Ministry of Defence and the Ghana Armed Forces, the partnership between the GAF and private sector companies is designed among others to provide most of the logistics needs of the Ghana Armed Forces and other security services in an efficient and orderly manner; produce items of strategic importance and value to the GAF and other security agencies and Ghanaians general, and establish a centre of excellence for consistent and practical research and development in various aspects of human and socio-economic security needs of the country.
The companies would also be expected to export goods produced in excess of local needs; create an avenue for employment, not only for retired military personnel but all others as well; undertake poverty alleviation programmes in support of the civil authority; and identify emerging or existing threats to socio-economic, social and human security and address them appropriately.
Vice President Bawumia
Launching the partnerships on Monday, April 4, 2022, at Burma Camp, Accra, Vice President Bawumia noted that the Ghana Armed Forces and all other security establishments in the country have depended mainly on the import of security hardware and equipment for their operations, raising several challenges that continue to undermine the efficiency of the Ghana Armed Forces.
“For example, most of the foreign suppliers do not have a local logistics support presence here in Ghana to help maintain these very pricey and sophisticated armaments. Consequently, the maintenance and support required for these defence and security assets’ effectiveness are not readily available.
“As such, the maintenance and logistical support for these assets usually come with a huge cost for the Government, even when these ammunitions are supposedly donations from other countries.
“Most importantly, these challenges often shorten the lifespans of these assets and reduce optimum functioning during use in some instances. Also, there is little skill transfer and no transfer-of-technology in such Sales and Purchase arrangements with foreign suppliers,” he pointed out.
The GAF-private sector partnership sits firmly in Government’s One District One Factory initiative and Ghana Beyond AID agenda, and with the military’s great repository of resourceful human capital in various fields of endeavours such as Engineering, Architecture, Business Administration, Logistics Management, Nursing, Medicine among others, and a reputation for discipline, ingenuity, and innovation, it is a big win for Ghana, Dr. Bawumia emphasised.
“These are all joint venture entities formed between private companies and the Ghana Armed Forces. Therefore, this development presents a beautiful synergy between the efficiencies availed by the private sector and the institutional discipline and diligence availed by the Armed Forces in driving the industrialization strategy of the Government.
“The business community is encouraged to go into more such collaborations with the Armed Forces to develop a diversity of production value chains that will benefit all, both military and civilian citizens alike,” he added.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Vice Admiral Seth Amoama, expressed delight that more than a decade after the establishment of DIHOC as a holding, limited liability company, it was now beginning to take concrete steps towards achieving its objectives, and pledged the commitment of the men and women of the Ghana Armed Forces to its success.