FDA Endorses Physically Challenged- Led Factory

Mrs. Delese Darko, CEO, FDA

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has okayed a factory that is going to select majority of its employees from the physically challenged community.

The Ghana Dreams Disability Development Foundation (GDDDF), a local natural fruit juice beverage producer located at Kasoa Ofaakor, is officially beginning its operations and for a start, the foundation will employ 60 people, of which 40 are physically challenged.

At full capacity, GDDDF expects to employ a total of 5,000 disabled persons to work in various departments of the factory.

The Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, Mrs. Delese Darko, said the support was 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, 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 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.

There is an estimated eight million disabled people living in Ghana, forming almost 20% of the 30 million population, and currently only a per cent of physically challenged persons are in public employment.

Though government introduced a policy to employ 50% of all physically challenged at the various toll booths across the country, the number of such persons overwhelms the total number of toll booths in the country.

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 best measures to reduce the percentage of unemployment among physically challenged people.

Mrs. Darko pledged the support of the FDA through technical supports and reduced fees to help facilitate the growth of local industries, particularly those that employed the physically challenged.

She advised the foundation to ensure they adhered to good manufacturing practices, and said it was the priority of the FDA that every enterprise with PLS licence would progress to the advanced level since it would contribute to the industrialization agenda of the government.

Richard Offei, CEO and Founder of GDDDF, expressed gratitude to the FDA for the PLS innovation which had enabled the smooth and gratis registration of their natural fruit drink product.

The GDDDF is part of the FDA’s Progressive Licencing Scheme of which 56 SMEs were licenced in July this year, to produce local products that meet international standards to generate employment, earn income and grow the fortunes of SMEs.