The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), has organised a special art exhibition to showcase products from local art dealers whose businesses have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event marks the second edition since GEPA officially partnered organisers of the monthly Accra Arts and Craft Market Exhibition hosted at the W.E.B Du Bois Memorial Centre in Accra.
Speaking on behalf of the CEO of GEPA, Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, Communications Executive of the organisation, Robert Amoakohene, reiterated the government’s commitment to supporting the local arts and handicrafts industry through special programmes and interventions aimed at boosting intra-African trade.
“GEPA is a key contributor to this project because we understand the importance of the arts sector and its economic potential for the nation.”
He said the traditional handicraft industry greatly depends on tourism, and for this reason, sales took a nosedive after restrictions on inbound travels were enforced due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Amoakohene urged Ghanaian art dealers to explore new ways of doing business through social media marketing and e-commerce.
He advised art dealers to register with GEPA to enable them to take advantage of tailor-made solutions from its Impact Hub, a newly-opened office that provides information on issues such as standards, quality, packaging, financing, etc., and also serves as an incubator for potential exporters.
Adnan Mohammed, the initiator of the event, lauded GEPA for supporting the local art industry and encouraged handicraft dealers to take advantage of the exhibition to showcase their works.
He said, while exhibitions help art sellers to connect with buyers, share ideas, and improve their products, it also offers a platform to educate the public to change the negative perception people have about locally-made artefacts.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, non-traditional exports had recorded a 23.65% growth rate in the handicraft sector over 2017 figures and a 77.23% growth rate in hides and skins over 2017 figures. Locally-made ceramic products topped the list of the sector’s earnings with 10.7 million USD.