Form cooperatives to benefit from assistance: 2nd Lady advises Basketry weavers

The Second Lady, Matilda Amissah Arthur has advised Basketry weavers in the country to form cooperatives to enable organisations reach out to them with facilities other forms of support. This she said would help them to adopt modernity with the aim of increasing income generation opportunities using the new skills they have acquired from the workshops, field visits and training that they have acquired in India.

Mrs. Matilda Amissah Arthur made this remark on the 13th May 2014 at the end of an exhibition of basketry products developed by the weavers of Ghana in association with the National Institute of Design, an initiative under India-Africa Forum Summit II Showcased at Aid to Artisans Ghana (ATAG)Pavilion X Ghana Trade Fair Centre in Accra, where the India government is helping in the empowerment of African women through a unique initiative being undertaken in coordination with the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad.

The Second Lady, praised India for helping in the empowerment of Ghanaian women through a unique initiative being undertaken in coordination with the internationally-renowned National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad.

Mrs. Matlida Amissah Arthur said that the purpose of the initiative was to sensitively adapt the basket making traditions, practices and also use the opportunity to train others with the experience and the skills that they have learnt in India and also learn to do it well so that they can meet international standards.

She called on them to open up and start with the local market first and get better so as to keep improving on their skills. Urging them to add uniformity by having quality control checks add a bit of value and not to cut corners so as to make sustainable outcomes but do the right things that they have learnt so that it would give them increased income generating possibilities so as to commercializing it and sustaining it.

“This conclave would help this project with exposure by creating market linkages and help small organizations with big impacts by way of funding, education or any other support that the communities may need,” she said, adding that India’s National Institute of Design (NID) has helped women in Africa in using their talent in the best possible manner.

So far, 20 weavers have been trained through workshops in the country and at NID in India with about 30 weavers to participating in the workshop.

The Executive Director of Aid to Artisans Ghana, a non-governmental organization, as project consultant, Madam Bridget Kyerematen-Darko said field visits in Ghana revealed that there is a major concentration of basket weavers in the northern town of Bolgatanga, who use elephant grass to weave exquisitely patterned baskets, hence weavers from different craft based organizations based in Bolgatanga were chosen for training under the project. Indian investments in Ghana have reached $800 million, spanning diverse sectors of the Ghanaian economy, including manufacturing, mining, housing, construction and education

On his part H.E. Mr. K. Jeeva the India High Commissioner to Ghana said India and Ghana have a long history of friendship and that India is one of the largest foreign investor-country in Ghana, in terms of number of projects.

He was happy to say that “hundreds of Ghanaian students and officials are receiving training in India every year. India takes humble pride in being able to make a contribution to the socio-economic development of Ghana through grants and credit lines”.

These statistics are just a part of the larger story of friendship and affection between the two countries. There is a bond that goes deeper, a bond that defines the direction of our relationship at the very inception

The support of the Indian government towards the re-construction of the Flagstaff House into a modern presidential edifice for the conduct of government business, the construction of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan ICT Centre, which serves as a centre of Excellence in ICT training for Ghanaian youth and academics and that his doors are always open for Ghanaians whenever they call on him.

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