Business News of Sunday, 24 November 2002
Revenue from exported handicrafts had increased from 195,845 dollars to 6.6 million dollars over the last two years, Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister, said at the weekend.
He was speaking at the launching of Aid to Artisans Ghana's Field Office and Craft Shop in Kumasi.
Mr Boafo said the increase in revenue indicated that the handicraft industry if properly managed could be a major source of foreign exchange earning for the country.
The facility that was built at the cost of 180 million cedis at the Kumasi Cultural Centre, would be used for the display of handicrafts of artisans in the region.
Mr Boafo said government would train the youth and give them the necessary assistance to enable them to work efficiently to boost the handicraft industry thereby creating jobs.
Mr Wilberforce Otchere-Darko, Ashanti Regional Director of the Centre for National Culture, paid tribute to the late Dr Esther Ocloo, a renowned industrialist who founded Aid to Artisans Ghana (ATAG).
He appealed to artisans to take advantage of the opportunities at their disposal to increase production.
Mr Ben Konyo Mensah, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ATAG, said the organisation operated retail shops at specific tourist centres to generate funds for its operations and called on investors to invest in the craft industry.
Oheneba Kwame Kyeretwie, Apagyahene of Kumasi, said ATAG would work hard to promote the tourist and handicraft sectors.