Mr Alexander Asum-Ahensah, Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, has appealed to kente weavers to make it their responsibility to offer training for the youth to enable them to acquire the needed skills in the industry.
He said it was necessary for the experienced weavers of the kente cloth to make time for the youth to effectively understudy them to enable the youth to take over and move the industry to a higher level.
The minister was speaking at the official opening of the First National Kente Week Celebration in Accra over the weekend.
Dubbed “Celebrating Our Kente Heritage: A Majestic New Boost for Sustaining the Ghanaian Kente Tradition and Industry in the 21st Century”, the event is to help promote and recognize kente as an important cultural heritage of great value to the country.
He said government had identified the kente industry as a potential area for job creation for the youth and urged all stakeholders to collaborate with government’s efforts to achieve the objective.
Mr Asum-Ahensah stated that although there had been a growth in the kente industry, it lacked the technical expertise needed to weave the intricate designs associated with the traditional hand woven textile.
He said there was therefore the need to assess the strengths of the industry to help create more opportunities for the youth.
The minister stated that the source of livelihood generated by the industry to people, coupled with the tourist attraction to the communities to familiarise themselves with weaving of the cloth, called for the need for the creation of both national and international marketing avenues for kente products.
Mr Asum-Mensah commended Royal Protocol Services, organisers of the celebration, for their initiative and asked the public to participate in the event to help promote and brand the country with the kente heritage.
Some of the activities marking the celebration include weaving competition, inter-schools “What do you know?” contest, and kente fashion show, followed by a kente dinner dance.