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21.04.2004 Business & Finance

Illiteracy Is An Obstacle To PSI on Garments.

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Bolgatanga, April 21, GNA - High illiteracy rate among entrepreneurs in the local textile industry could be a potential obstacle to the President's Special Initiative (PSI) on garments.

This is because most textile products such as Batik, Tie and Dye, "kente" and smock material are produced by rural dwellers, most of whom may have little or no secular education at all and would lack the confidence to penetrate bigger markets.

An official of AMEX International in the garment industry, Madam Grace Otoo-Kwadey, who said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Bolgatanga on Tuesday, further explained that the illiteracy rate of producers of garment in the three Northern regions is so high that it adversely affects business as it places a limitation on the ability of the people to deal directly with foreign investors.

She said the situation creates middlemen whose operations could have serious impact on the textile trade in the country. "If the illiteracy problem is not urgently addressed by the sector Ministry on PSI, then that initiative may be confronted with problems, which would adversely affect the goals of that policy.

Madam Otoo-Kwadey, who is also the Technical Advisor on Garments, Textiles and Handicrafts, suggested the inculcation of functional literacy programmes in the PSI on Garment in order to make that initiative viable and profitable to the people within the trade, especially women.

Madam Otto-Kwadey said a successful adult functional literacy programme has other key components, including poverty alleviation, wealth creation and social development among others, and that if producers in the local textile industry acquire functional literacy they could break even when they enter the international markets. She is in the Upper East Region to organize a three-day workshop sponsored by USAID for producers in the woven garment industry. She said her outfit is providing technical assistance in four areas, including Production, Volume and Product Development, Sales and Marketing and Business Development under a USAID/Ghana Trade and Investment Reform Programme.

Madam Otto-Kwadey explained that the trade and investment programme has other components, including agro-business, Value Added Wood, and Garment, Textiles and Handicrafts and said it aims at improving the quality of the produce as well as increasing the volume of the products for both local and international markets.

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