The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has assured its support for companies and entities working with persons living with disability (PLWD)
The Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, Mrs. Delese Darko, said the support is meant to ensure the growth of local businesses and to offer unending opportunities and hope to all physically challenged persons across the country.
She made this remark on Friday November 20, 2020 at the launch of the National Social Development Awards and the launch of the first ever factory to employ persons living with disabilities by the Ghana Dreams Disability Development Foundation (GDDDF).
The event had two objectives: first to reward and promote persons who have contributed greatly to social development in the country; and secondly to launch and raise funds to support the maintenance of machines and other logistics for the Foundation.
The GDDDF, a local natural fruit juice beverage producer located at Kasoa Ofankor is set to officially begin operations in December this year. For a start, the Foundation will employ 60 people, of which 40 are physically challenged.
At full capacity, GDDDF will employ a total of 5000 disabled persons to work in various departments of the factory.
Physically challenged and disabled people are one of the largest oppressed groups in Ghana. There is an estimated 8 million disabled people living in Ghana, forming almost 20 percent of the 30 million population.
Currently, only one percent of physically challenged are in employment in Ghana. They comprise mental health victims, the visually impaired and the physically challenged.
Though government introduced a policy to employ 50 percent of all physically challenged at the various toll booths across the country, the number of such persons overwhelms the total number of toll booths which hovers a little over 200 in Ghana.
However, this initiative by the GDDDF supported by the FDA, in line with government’s flagship One District, One Factory (1D1F) initiative, is touted as one of the surest measures to reduce the percentage of unemployment among physically challenged people in Ghana.
Addressing dignitaries at the launch of the factory, Mrs. Delese Darko, pledged the support of the FDA through technical supports and reduced fees to help facilitate the growth of local industries particularly those that employs the physically challenged.
Mrs. Darko advised the Foundation to ensure they adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices. She said it is the priority of the FDA that every enterprise with PLS license would progress higher from their current level to the advanced level, as this would contribute to make the industrialization agenda a reality in Ghana.
Mr. Richard Offei, CEO and Founder of GDDDF expressed gratitude to the FDA for the PLS innovation which has enabled the smooth and gratis registration of their natural fruit drink product.
Indeed, the GDDDF, is part of the FDA’s Progressive Licensing Scheme of which 56 SMEs were licensed in July this year, to produce local products that meets international standards to generate employment, earn income and thrive the fortunes of SMEs.
By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe