Acting Head of Handicraft and Industrial Art Department at the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Nelly Joana Spio-Abaidoo, has said that locally manufactured products now have improved standards and can compete with other international products on the market, hence, they must be patronised.
According to her, the days of referring to locally manufactured products as inferior and sub-standard have come to an end due to the quality of home-made products that are currently on the markets which stands out in various forms.
“Gone are the days when people saw made in Ghana products as inferior, now we have products that are standing out and can confidently compete with products that are coming from the international markets,” she said in an interview with the media at a local exhibition organised by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority in collaboration with Accra Art and Craft Market.
Explaining the essence of the collaboration, she said it is to help the local artisans in developing their products and also as a way of building their capacity in terms of their relationship with buyers.
The exhibition brought together about 45 exhibitors who deal in different products like beads, accessories, bags among others.
She added that GEPA will also take the opportunity to fish out individuals with unique products and brands to exhibit them on the international market or fairs. She further stated that GEPA’s collaboration with Art and Craft Market will also ensure continuous manufacture of products by the craft men and women through GEPA’s support.
Mrs. Spio-Abaidoo revealed that the exhibition will be held on the last Saturdays of every month to help the art industry see increased patronage.
Speaking with the Organiser and Manager for Accra Art and Craft Market, Adnan Mohammed, he noted that COVID-19 severely affected sales of their products due to the restrictions on travel, as most of their clients are international tourists.
Commenting on concerns expressed by some buyers regarding the prices of their products, Mr. Adnan debunked claims of profiteering by some buyers, saying, the quality of locally manufactured products can never be underestimated, hence, comparing their prices with foreign ones is flawed.
Explaining further, he said buying quality products, which is a little expensive, is a better option than relying on cheap products which do not last longer. He expressed his sincere gratitude to GEPA for stepping in to support the Art and Craft Market to boost the patronage of locally manufactured products.