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04.03.2009 Business & Finance

SMEs cry for craft village


Mr Benyameen S. A. Keelson, a Deputy Director of the Centre for National Culture, has urged investors to collaborate with the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) to build a craft village for artisans in that area.

He said under a “Build, Operate and Transfer” policy, handicraft workers in wood, metal and other materials would have a comfortable environment to work and prosper, while consumers would have easier access to their products.

Mr Keelson said the STMA was ready for the partnership but interest from the private sector has been lacking.

“If we are able to place the arts and craft in a proper perspective, our

development will progress rapidly,” he stressed.
Mr Keelson said without an organised production base it was difficult to monitor the quality of products on the market.

Supporting the position of Mr Keelson, Mr Peter Sarpong-Mensah, the Takoradi Harbour branch chairman of the Cane and Wood Workers Association told the GNA in an interview that, the lack of a craft village in the metropolis had made it difficult for small and medium scale wood and craft manufacturers to organize themselves properly.

This has led to the lack of monitoring and supervision in the sector, resulting in the use of inferior raw materials and exploitation of customers.

He said though the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) had allocated a site near the Western Regional Theatre at Fijai, for the past two years, the artisans could not re-locate to the site because that environment was not conducive.

The entire area is overgrown with weed, there are no sheds for

artisans, there is no place of convenience and the Assembly has not provided any show rooms to aid our operations, he complained.

Mr Sarpong-Mensah said the craft makers did not have the funds to develop the place.

He appealed to the Ghana Export Promotion Council and the Ghana Tourists Board to assist the STMA to fund the village.