Nandom to have shea butter factory under one-district, one-factory policy

A shea butter factory has been earmarked for the Nandom District in the Upper West Region, in fulfilment of the people’s share of the one-district, one-factory policy of the government.

Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia said the factory was expected to create jobs for the youth in communities in the district as part of the government’s effort to tackle unemployment.

Kakube Festival

Dr Bawumia made this known in Nandom last Sunday when he joined the chiefs and the people of the Nandom Traditional Area at a durbar to celebrate the 2017 edition of the Kakube Festival.

It was the second time in three months that the Presidency had attended a festival in the Upper West Region. The first was when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo graced the Kobine Festival of the chiefs and the people of the Lawra Traditional Area.

The government donated GH¢10,000 to the traditional authorities towards the organisation of the durbar and other activities.

Last Sunday’s durbar climaxed the 29th Kakube Festival. A side attraction of the durbar was an exhibition of the culture and tradition of the people.

On display were smocks of different types and make, agricultural produce, as well as traditional dances.

In the Vice-President’s entourage were the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful; the Minister of Railway Development, Mr Joe Ghartey; the Minister for the Interior and Member of Parliament for Nandom, Mr Ambrose Dery, and the Deputy Minister of Roads, Mr Anthony Karbo.

Dr Bawumia said the shea butter factory, along with other programmes being implemented by the government, including the free senior high school policy, Planting for Food and Jobs and subsidised fertiliser for farmers, was part of the government’s transformation agenda.

Nandom, like most parts of the Upper West Region, is endowed with shea trees which produce the nuts from which shea butter is extracted in unsophisticated forms with a huge labour effort.

The nut is also a good source of cooking oil for households, but the oil is hardly refined and nicely packaged in the manner other competing brands are sold.

Creating jobs

The factory is expected to have the machinery to process shea nut in large quantities into finer forms of the many products that women especially have turned it into over the years.

Dr Bawumia thanked the people of the Nandom Constituency for contributing to the victory of the New Patriotic Party in last year’s general election, with the party snatching the parliamentary seat from the National Democratic Congress.

$1m for constituency

The Vice-President assured the people that the government would release the first tranche of the promised yearly $1 million per constituency in 2018.

That would cushion the constituency with more than GH¢4 million for development projects, Dr Bawumia said, adding that it was wholly in the hands of the constituency to determine areas of priority to channel its resources into.

The Paramount Chief of the Nandom Traditional Area, Naa Dr Charles Puoure Puobe Chiir VII, praised the government for approving the Kambai Irrigation Project in the area, noting that it would aid various economic activities, particularly farming.

He appealed for the construction of the Kambai Bridge to ease transportation and the repair and tarring of the road to Hamile to increase economic interaction between Ghana and its neighbours in the north.

He also appealed that Nandom should be linked by rail to the south to ease the transportation of goods and people between the two parts of the country.

Mr Dery, for his part, said the government had given approval for a number of road projects in the Nandom Traditional Area.

He denied his involvement in a religious dispute among orthodox Muslims in the area concerning the selection of an Imam and cautioned the people against any form of violence in the effort to reach a decision.

The Upper West Regional Minister, Alhaji Sulemana Alhassan, said festivals such as Kakube were a way of preserving the culture of the people and urged them to live in peace.