The Founder of the Kristo Asafo Mission (now the Christ Reformed Church), Apostle Kwadwo Safo Kantanka, has entreated the government to support local innovation and technology to create more employment opportunities and accelerate the development of the country.
He said many youth had innovative ideas, the technical know-how and skills to help propel Ghana’s growth but lacked the desired push to realise their dreams.
Apostle Safo, speaking at the maiden edition of the Kantanka Ghana Technology Expo 2021 in Accra, said in spite of all the innovative ideas and natural resources that Africa had, it still depended on imported goods and products, a situation he described as not beneficial to skills and the socio-economic development of the continent.
According to him, “we have downgraded ourselves so much that we think there is nothing good about us”.
The three-day expo was on the theme: “Transforming the frontiers of science and technology in Africa — Our continent, our future”.
Participants included educational institutions such as the Ho and the Takoradi Technical universities and Adisadel College.
Various kinds of vehicles and equipment manufactured by the Kantanka Group and some technical universities were on display.
They included saloon cars, sports utility vehicles, roofing tile-making machines, organic food products and a fingerprint dashboard.
Other gadgets were a military drone, an automatic paint sprayer, an electric car with a mileage of up to 120 km per hour and a boost charge of four hours.
The rest were a smart sensor walking stick, a smart segregation bin, a maize shredder, a palm kernel cracking machine, a coconut peeler, a seed germinator, a combine weeding and spraying machine.
The highlight of the event was the showcasing of a multi-purpose, bullet-proof armoured vehicle known as “Okofoↄ” that could be used for riot control and also serve as a bullion van.
The Okofoↄ, which has a maximum capacity of seven persons, is fitted with a surveillance camera on all four sides and also has tyres that can travel up to 50 miles when punctured.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Kantanka Group of Companies, Nana Kwadwo Safo Akofena, explained that the re-branding of the four-decade-old event from Kristo Asafo Exhibition into a technology expo was to allow inventors across the continent to showcase their innovations.
“Going forward, we will see to it that there will be more competition, and I believe healthy competition will help bring out the best,” he added.
The Director-General in charge of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) of the Ghana Police Service, Commissioner of Police (COP) Edward Tabiri, said his outfit was ready to collaborate with the Kantanka Group to develop armoured vehicles that would meet police specifications.
He said if the security services could get such locally made armoured vehicles to buy, they would not be going to the international market.
He urged the youth to let Apostle Safo’s ingenuity inspire them to become more innovative to also contribute their quota to national development.
For his part, the National Security Coordinator, Major General Francis Adu Amanfo (Retd), expressed delight over the ingenuity of the group in manufacturing the array of gadgets on display and encouraged the Apostle to continue to nurture the youth.