UER Assemblies asked to support crafts industry
The Centre for National Culture (CNC) in the Upper East Region, on Monday appealed to Municipal and District Assemblies in the Region to support people in the crafts industry to improve their skills and also train more young people.
Mr. Fuzzy N. Kombat, Regional Director, CNC, who made the appeal, said that such initiative would help to create more employment and reduce poverty in the Region.
He was speaking at the opening of a three-day training programme on good packaging and final production processes of products, for craftsmen, from the Bolgatanga Municipality, on Monday in Bolgatanga.
Mr. Kombat explained that even though local raw materials were available, they were too expensive as craftsmen had to buy the materials from commercial houses and middle men.
“Craft persons are supposed to be given some amount of financial assistance from the Municipal and District Assemblies’ Common Fund towards the development and growth of the industry, but that is never so, a research has revealed that only a few of them have access to this fund”.
Mr. Kombat noted that many of the craft persons had formed associations and it would be easy to deal with them if the Assemblies would see the industry as a good potential to reduce poverty in the area since small farm lands, poor soils and poor rainfall had made agriculture inadequate and unreliable.
Mr. Emmanuel Atongi, former Director, CNC, suggested that the centre could be supported to build straw banks and buy raw materials for storage and sale to craftsmen at affordable prices.
He said: “We should rather consider the cultural diversity in our Art and Crafts as a potential to exploit for growth, employment and wealth creation that will help propel the development of the Region”.
Participants at the programme who included basket weavers, leather workers, smock and cloth weavers and wood carvers, and were drawn form community associations of craft persons.
They would participate in lectures and discussions on Orientation of Artists in basic techniques and production, craft as a business, packaging and finishing in textiles, leather work and basketry.
The training forms part of the Cultural Initiative Support Programme of the CNC, under its Reinforcement of competencies and skills objective.