The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has organised the September 2021 edition of the Accra Arts and Craft Market Exhibition to showcase products of local art dealers whose businesses were affected during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking in an interview with Ghanaweekend.com, Nelly Spio-Abaidoo, Head of Handicraft Department at GEPA, reiterated the government’s commitment to supporting the local arts and handicrafts industry through special programmes and interventions aimed at boosting intra-African trade.
She said GEPA acknowledges the importance of the arts sector to the national economy and is therefore fully committed to its role as a major contributor to Ghana’s participation in AfCFTA.
She said GEPA encourages traditional handicraft dealers to explore new ways of doing business through social media marketing and e-commerce.
She urged art dealers to register with GEPA to enable them to take advantage of tailor-made solutions from its Impact Hub office which 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.