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Aburi Craft Village to boost income of local artisans

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Otoobour Djan Kwasi II (left), the Aburihene, assisted by other dignitaries to cut the tape for the opening of the newly refurbished Aburi Crafts Village
Otoobour Djan Kwasi II (left), the Aburihene, assisted by other dignitaries to cut the tape for the opening of the newly refurbished Aburi Crafts Village

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has refurbished the Aburi Crafts Village in the Eastern Region into a multi-purpose centre for locally-produced handicrafts and venue for international art shows.

The facility has been modeled and partitioned to reflect the various aspects of Ghanaian homes; visitors will now find furniture, accessories and décor pieces for the living area, bedroom, dining area, kitchen and hall utility spaces.

It now has a modern showroom and exhibition centre to display the beautiful handicrafts in an effort of making Ghana a leading exporter of art and craft in the West Africa sub-region.

Opening

Opening the refurbished facility in Accra, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GEPA, Dr Afua Asabea Asare, said the multi-purpose facility would function as a market centre for locally-produced handicrafts and a venue for international art shows.

“As we inaugurate this refurbished facility called the Aburi Craft Village today, I am hopeful that the centre will sustain the purpose for which it was built, which is to be a one-stop-shop for everything authentically Ghanaian that is related to lifestyle and is of premium quality.

“The last characteristic being the most compelling reason why anyone would bypass the many available options and come all the way to Aburi to make a purchase,” she said.

Dr Asare said the items found on display within the facility, had been skillfully produced by craftsmen and women some of whom have shops in the village and some from other associations beyond Aburi.

“Once you come outside, shops and the exhibition area also have on display an array of well thought out artifacts to inspire you to purchase items of beauty for your homes and office spaces.

“The idea for this entire space is to develop it to the level where we can hold international art and craft exhibitions in the not-too-distant future. In doing that, we will be achieving export of our tourism while exporting our handicraft as well,” she said.
The CEO encouraged leadership of the centre to maintain a strong maintenance culture to sustain patronage.

Right support

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyeremanten, in a speech read on his behalf by one of his deputies, Mr Herbert Krapa said the country’s handicraft sector with the right support could be well-positioned to feed the economy, while stakeholders derived appreciable income from earnings.

Mr Kyerematen said the growth of public-private partnership would drive future success stories in the export trade sector, adding that the government was committed to promoting its industrialisation agenda and focusing on the value-addition of raw materials sourced in the country.

Timely gesture

The Aburihene and acting President of the Akuapem Traditional Council, Otoobour Djan Kwasi II, said the move by GEPA to rehabilitate the centre was timely and critical for rekindling the economic life of artisans and by extension, the whole of Aburi.

He expressed appreciation for the gesture and said it would be utilised to benefit Aburi and Ghana at large.