Many years ago, the Aburi craft village which operated at the Y-Junction of the town enjoyed high patronage, particularly from foreigners in search of authentic Ghanaian arts and crafts.
Business for traders boomed and the number of wood carvers and their patrons increased significantly requiring a relocation to the present brick and mortar facility built by the government.
Today, the traders say that due to the relocation, the patronage of their wares has dwindled to an all-time low and their daily livelihoods are threatened.
Many factors, according to the leadership of the traders, had accounted for this development which could be tackled to ensure that they bounced back to business.
Perhaps, the prayers of the traders were answered with the visit by the officials from the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), led by its Chief Executive, Ms Afua Asabea Asante, to the facility.
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The Director at the facility, Nana Krobea Asante I, told the visiting team that the architecture of the craft village main building overlooking the major road required some alteration for it to be converted into a showroom.
According to Nana Asante, who is also the owner of N. Kasante Enterprise, it would be important to replace the concrete overlooking the road with glass so motorists and pedestrians would be attracted to their products.
One of the directors at the village, Nii Amartey Laryea, said they required modern tools to make their products competitive both in Ghana and abroad.
“ Often, when we go for trade fairs outside Ghana, we are not able to compete because the finishing of our products are poor as compared to our competitors”, he stated.
About 370 people operate at the Aburi Craft Village.
GEPA to help
Ms Asabea Asante advised the leadership to immediately write to GEPA stating the nature of support they required.
She said products from the traders would be displayed on the GEPA Market Hub, a portal operated by the institution to showcase Ghanaian products.
Also, she said, GEPA would assist the leadership to create their own website which would be linked to the GEPA Market Hub to give more visibility to their products.
In the medium to the long term, GEPA, she said, would organise trade fairs at the village during which they would invite others from across Africa to participate.
Additionally, Madam Asabea Asante said the main showroom required a makeover and promised that GEPA would help in fostering that transformation.