The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) – the institution mandated to develop and promote Ghana’s non-traditional exports – has presented a variety of safety items as its support in helping Handicraft Export Communities fight against COVID-19.
The items were presented to the three Arts & Craft Centres at Aburi, Tetteh Quashie and the Arts Centre in Accra. They comprised 3,000 bottles of alcohol-based sanitisers, 3,300 face masks, 50 Veronica buckets complete with water basins, liquid soap, disposable tissue and trash-bins.
Presenting the items to executives of the Association of Handicraft Exporters, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, Samuel Dentu sympathised with the association on how badly COVID-19 has affected the businesses of its members, due to the fact that most of their customers come from overseas.
He advised members to use this unfortunate time to think of new markets to look out for, especially within the African continent; and also encouraged them to use this downtime to evaluate how their businesses can also tap into the ‘’new normal’ that technology offers: marketing their wares on social media, and using every available opportunity to build their capacities so that post-COVID we all will emerge stronger together.
He further urged members to make good use of the safety-items presented, as their health is paramount. Mr. Dentu advised members to continue paying attention to and observing outlined safety protocols – wearing nose masks, physical social distancing, washing hands with soap under running water and using alcohol-based sanitisers.
Vice President of the National Association of Handicraft Exporters (NAHE), Madam Fulera Seidu, thanked the CEO and entire GEPA team for the kind gesture. She said the timing was perfect, and lauded GEPA’s continued support in ensuring business growth for the Arts & Craft sector – an area that is perceived as being neglected.
GEPA’s last report on Non-Traditional Exports recorded a 23.65 percent growth rate in the handicraft sector over 2017 figures, and a significant 77.23 percent growth rate in hides and skins over 2017 figures. Ceramic products led the sector’s earnings with a value of US$10.7million.