For so many years now, the Kantanka Group of Companies, established by the Founder and Leader of the Kristo Asafo Mission of Ghana, Apostle Kwadwo Safo Kantanka, has been at the forefront of innovations that have proved the ability of local expertise to respond to local needs.
In recent times, one of its subsidiaries, the Kantanka Automobile Company, has succeeded in manufacturing four-wheel-drive vehicles, pick-ups and SUVs for the commercial market.
The company is also credited with the production of armoured vehicles that meet international standards.
While the effort of such an indigenous Ghanaian entrepreneur is most laudable, it is more satisfying to note that the government has announced plans to lay out a comprehensive plan to support the company to produce more vehicles for the African market under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
Such support to the Kantanka Automobile Company, without doubt, will help in retaining the gains made by the company locally and boost the agenda of the government to enhance the output of local industry towards local innovation, production and sustainability.
The Kantanka Group and its leader deserve the commendation of all for weathering the storm and travelling this far in the production of vehicles that are currently in use by a number of institutions and individuals.
The Daily Graphic, is however, of the view that while the effort of the company is commendable, there is the need to take a second look at some of the products it has produced, vis-à-vis the ease of marketing them, for optimal patronage, especially on the local front.
Clearly, while the production of an armoured vehicle is ideal, the potential for patronage, both locally and regionally, may present a formidable challenge.
Also, the 4×4 vehicles which are very luxurious may not meet the budget of the middle class, who constitute the bulk of potential patrons of such vehicles.
This is against the backdrop of the affinity for foreign goods by a good number of people, as against those of local breed with equal quality and performance.
The Daily Graphic has a suggestion — that the company should focus on the middle class and produce vehicles that will suit and meet the needs of that class in a manner that will enhance easy patronage and thereby make Kantanka competitive and sustainable.
For instance, given the location of the company at Gomoa Mpota, close to Winneba in the Central Region, one avenue to rake in additional revenue will be to place some of its vehicles as taxis around the Winneba Junction to convey passengers to various linked locations to the Winneba Junction, as well as Apam and Ankamu on the main Accra-Cape Coast road, that are noted for the use of taxis.
More so, in an era when Ghanaians are growing accustomed to services such as Uber and Taxify, it should be possible for some of the vehicles to be deployed in that direction.
Beyond the revenue to be generated, patrons will have a first-hand experience of the comfort that the Kantanka vehicles provide and this may predispose them to make purchases for their personal use.
In addition, the company could set up a service centre close by to attend to any service needs of the vehicles so deployed.
As a nation, we applaud the inventiveness of Apostle Safo and his group, we find innovative ways of making the business sustainable enough to bring the maximum benefit not only to the manufacturers but also the entirety of Ghana and the African continent.
We are pleased by the move by the government to provide the needed support for large-scale production of the Kantanka vehicles not only for Ghana but for the African market.
We must patronise his products locally, so that efforts by the government to help the company can achieve positive results.