Industri Enregi has a long history of cooperation with BWI in Africa which started in Zimbabwe and Swaziland, about HIV/AIDS, Ethiopia on the same issue of HIV/AIDS and now with the Timber and Woodworkers Union of Ghana in the Furniture sector.
From 8 to 9 November 2016, 16 stakeholders of the project building bargaining capacity in the Furniture industry in Ghana with the Timber union met in Accra to discuss and adopt an action plan for the implementation of the project supported by Industri Energi.
In his welcome remarks, the acting General Secretary of Timber and Woodworkers Union (TWU) of Ghana Mark Ofori Asante highlighted that the furniture industry in Ghana is deteriorating at a high speed which needs a drastic measure to curtail either than that it will collapse entirely. The challenges confronting the industry are very enormous. Among others he explained the high cost of production, the influx of foreign products, the taste for the Chinese brand, government policy on trade and the inadequate raw materials as a result of deforestation at an alarming rate.
The BWI Regional Representative for Africa and Middle East, Crecentia Mofokeng congratulated Timber and Woodworkers union for the warm welcome to the country of Pan Africanism and emphasized that the workshop is held at a critical political turbulence moment where the country is preparing for General elections in one month. She took the opportunity to thank Ole-Kristian and Industri Energi for accepting the postponement of this very workshop due to TWU internal transitional period resulting from the election of Joshua Ansah as Deputy Secretary General of TUC.
Ole-Kristian Paulsen from Industri Energi after extending greetings from his president and his entire unions observed that Trade union movement is always behind the development of Industries. He indicated as an individual that he is extremely result oriented and want to see the unions growing and influencing policy in the Furniture Industry in Ghana. He affirmed that most of projects funded by Industri Energi are focused on recruitment, organizing and building capacity.
The Deputy Secretary General of TUC Ghana, Joshua Ansah expressed his happiness for the coming into reality of this project emphasizing on the fact finding mission of February 2016 by BWI and Industri Energi. He extended greetings from the leadership of TUC and on his own behalf and assured on the support from TUC for the success of this project.
The stakeholders adopted a work plan that is starting from December 2016 to November 2017 and focusing on tangible results to be achieved on one year time. After the planning Session, all participants to the PAC workshop went for a site visit at Pergamon a Furniture Company organized by Timber and Woodworkers Union of Ghana. The company is transforming lumber into all type of furniture from traditional design to modern ones.