Kente industry vital to tourism development – Minister

madam-dzifa-abla-gomashie-kenteThe Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Dzifa Abla Gomashie, says the arts and crafts industry holds the key to the development of tourism.

She said the Ministry is much committed to implementing the patronage of “Made-in-Ghana Goods”, to promote the work of local artisans to produce Kente that would meet the taste and standard of the international community.

Madam Gomashie made the remarks when she opened a Kente exhibition at the National Museum in Accra organised by the Authentic Tradition of Modern Ewe Kente (ATMEK) on Saturday.

She said promoting Ghanaian goods would ginger the youth to have interest in arts and crafts and in this way generate employment to make the economy robust.

She said: “This will also enable Ghana to compete with other countries in tourism attraction.”

She urged Kente weavers to produce fabric that could be bought at less cost to enable many young women patronize them and promote local goods, and urged the youth to show much interest in travelling to develop tourism.

Mr Ahiagble Bob Dennis, the Chief Executive Officer of ATMEK suggested the integration of Kente into the National Development Policy framework.

He said this would encourage the youth and the weavers who are already in the industry to contribute to the development of arts and craft to preserve the heritage of the Kente, which is the oldest fabric in the country.

“It is only when the skills and capacity of arts and craft artisans within the industry are upgraded to international standards that Ghana will position itself to reap the full potential in the tourism industry.”

Mr Dennis said this would help create more jobs for the youth, especially those from the weaving communities of Agbozume and Agotime Kpetoe in the Volta Region.

He said he is looking forward to extend Kente workshops to the United States, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Austria to sell the image of Kente and Ghana at large.

He said ATMEK is also affiliated to United Kingdom-based institution known as Goldstars Vision in carnival arts, community events, drumming and dancing and also promoting Kente workshops all over Europe.

Madam Hege Hertzberg, the Norwegian Ambassador, who chaired the function said: “One of the most beautiful items to come from Ghana is the Kente cloth because most of the colourful festivals and events are always graced by the multi-coloured Kente cloth.”

She expressed gratitude to ATMEK for organising the exhibition to encourage the public to appreciate their rich culture and showcase them to the international market.

Source: GNA

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