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Meet 30-Year-Old CEO Of First Car Manufacturing Company In Ghana.

The African continent has come to be viewed as only interested in consuming what Asia and the western world manufactures. This is quite true in some ways.

Almost all electronics and cars used in Africa are imported from other continents. Yet this is not to say there are no manufacturers in Africa. Only that they are not enough yet.

One of the few companies changing the face of manufacturing in Africa is the Kantanka Group. The Kantanka Group is split into two parts: An electronics division and a car manufacturing company.

Kantanka Cars is Ghana's first car-maker and one of the few on the African continent. It is  is an Ashanti privately held electric car manufacturing company founded by Kwadwo Safo and headquartered in Kumasi the capital of Ashanti City-State with an assembly plant in located at Gomoa Mpota in the Central region of the Ashantiland Peninsula.

Kwadwo Safo strangely enough is a pastor, the founder of the Christ Reformed Church, and is known locally in Ghana as the "Star of Africa". His nickname comes from his achievements, which truly are legendary.

His son, 30-year-old Kwadwo Safo Jr. is now the CEO of Kantanka. In a recent interview with CNN, The young CEO revealed that his father had the knack for building things as a child.

He also revealed that his father started the family business, Kantanka, 20 years ago, making electrical devices from TVs and sound systems to musical instruments and sewing machines in a country with virtually no history of manufacturing.

He said: "(My father) had ambition and foresight. He thought of everything in preparation of Kantanka."

The young man who said he trained as a pilot but had put that dream on hold to face the family business, also said:

"We are expanding our current production line to include a lower-end model which we will launch before the end of the year. We have made quite significant sales, including a very important one to the office of the president."

He also said operating in Ghana came with its own difficulties. ranging from power cuts and getting fuel needed for the back-up generators used to run the business.


He also revealed that people find it difficult to trust the 'Made in Ghana' cars. "People think the doors will come off or the tires will blow off or something," he said, during the interview.

According to him, they are able to produce 150 cars a month, and with high production costs at home, the cheapest of its three models costs about $20,000.

"We need to be able to produce at a more affordable rate. There are high import charges in Ghana," he said.

Despite the difficulties however, the young CEO is determined and sure the car company will grow.

"We have a plan to build sports cars, buses and really expand in Africa with more models," says Safo Jr, from his headquarters just outside the capital of Accra. Once you are determined and you want to do it, it's not hard," he said.
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