In an effort to consolidate the gains made in fighting the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country, the Ghana Exports Promotion Authority (GEPA) has presented assorted items to artisans in Sunyani to help control spread of the virus at their workplaces.
The items were made up of Veronica buckets, alcohol-based hand sanitisers, paper towels, dustbins, nose masks and soap among others. The beneficiary artisans included tailors and dressmakers, smock and kente weavers, visual artists and photographers.
Mr. George Ameyaw, Director of GEPA in charge of Ashanti, Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions, made the presentation to artisans at the Sunyani Centre of National Culture (CNC).
He advised the artisans not to lower their guard in fighting against the deadly virus, as it is still prevalent; hence the support for them to sustain their adherence to safety protocols. “We have a greater responsibility on our parts as individuals to complement the efforts of government and health workers to curtail the spread of COVID-19. The virus is still with us, and we must all endeavour to continue the fight against it.”
He used the opportunity to educate the artisans on improving their handicrafts in order to compete on the international market, adding that “if you want to export your products, then obviously you have to raise the bar in the area of finishing”.
Mr. Ameyaw urged them to form associations and cooperatives with common trade goals and objectives. He said it is easier to attract support as an Association rather than doing business on the individual level. He further pledged the commitment of GEPA to build the capacities of artisans to export their products.
The Regional Director of CNC in charge of Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions, Helen Sinabisi Akanbong, received the items on the artisans’ behalf. She expressed appreciation to GEPA for the gesture, assuring that the items will be put into good use.
She said plans are underway to develop the Sunyani Craft Village at the CNC so as to give it a facelift – indicating that developing the Craft Village will go a long way to help revamp craftsmanship and create more job opportunities. Currently, the supposed structures for the Craft Village have become something of white elephants.