Krobo Odumase launches beads festival
The first Ghana International Beads Festival scheduled to take place in October has been launched at Odumase Krobo with a call on all stakeholders from both the private and public sectors to come together to take a serious look at the beads industry and find a way of addressing the numerous challenges confronting it.
The Deputy Minster for Trade and Industry, Mr John Gyentuah, said the beads industry had the export potential to generate foreign exchange for the country and that a well defined strategy should be developed to sustain it.
He said his ministry had started some work on the development of the industry and needs the complementary support of other government agencies such as the district assemblies and the private sector.
Mr Gyentuah said this involves the craft initiative being implemented under the ministry’s Trade Sector Support Programme.
Under this initiative, operations in the art, craft and handicraft sector are being streamlined, regulated and strengthened to make the industry locally and internationally competitive.
The initiative is to ensure that craft villages are established and well operated to cater for the needs of the artisans.
He said in order to promote the sector, the Ghana Standards Board and the Environmental Protection Agency would be called upon to monitor activities of the operators.
Mr Gyentuah said this was because activities undertaken by the bead manufacturers as well as chemical ceramic dye importers are of health and environmental concerns to the manufacturer and the international market too.
He said that the Ghana beads industry is still at its infant stage due to the fact that it faces many challenges which make it difficult for the country to exploit the potentials in the country.
Mr Gyentuah mentioned some of the challenges as beads makers are not being given recognition despite the fact that their trade attracts tourists and provides employment for hundreds of people. The festival project officer, Mr E.B.T Sikapa, said the major reasons for holding the festival is to open up the country to cultural tourism using the bead as the medium to develop Odumase Krobo into a rural tourism destination of international repute.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, in an address read on his behalf, appealed to the assembly and the traditional council to liaise with other district assemblies to create a big market not only to promote the sale of beads but also to showcase their tourism potentials.