General News of Monday, 27 February 2017
The Regional Minister has cut sod for the construction of the first phase of the Agotime Kente Village in Kpetoe as part of the implementation of the one-district one-factory policy by the current New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.
Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, during the sod cutting ceremony, disclosed that the project falls in line with government’s strategy to industrialize the country.
The project, which has been on the drawing board for more than two decades now, was captured in the 2014 budget of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration but government could not fulfill its promises of constructing the facility.
The facility, which is estimated to cost GHC2.4million, when completed, would help preserve the cultural heritage of Kente, act as a one-stop shop for the fabric, serve as an avenue for people to learn about the kente cloth, as well provide market for all the materials used for the production of the fabric.
Addressing the chiefs and people of the Agotime Traditional Area, Dr. Letsa called for a paradigm shift, adding that there are many business opportunities associated with the Kente fabric and the tourism industry.
The NPP government is prepared to build the capacity of our people and develop their human capital through its various innovative policies so that our people can take advantage of emerging industrial opportunities, he said.
He indicated that the project was central to government’s policy of developing indigenous industries, which would be tools for wealth creation.
To ensure a brighter future for the younger generation, it is important that we re-engineer our traditional institutions, inject a sense of discipline into our way of life and put into practice the belief that there is dignity in labour. We possess the power to create wealth if we transform and harness the resources we have, Dr. Letsa added.
Eddie Akotey, Chairman of the 2017 Kente Festival Planning Committee, indicated that the first phase of the project, when completed, would have about 30 stores that would be the hub of the Kente fabric and all the materials that are used in the production of the fabric.
It will also have a restaurant, exhibition area and 18 shops.
The second phase will have an ultra-modern weaving centre, which will accommodate weavers and also serve as a place for others to learn the craft and trade.
He said the facility would also ensure that only the best Kente are produced and sold in the area as a way of controlling the market to ward off inferior products that may have negative consequences on the kente industry.
Nene Nuer Keteku III, Konor of Agotime Traditional area, said the Kente Village Project is a deliberate effort by the people to project the Volta Region and the nation as a preferred destination for eco-tourism.
He expressed the hope that the project would open up the area and the entire region for business opportunities that would lead to the creation of jobs.