Crafts Industry faces imminent collapse

Craftsmen in the Kumasi Metropolis have signaled the collapse of the creative industry sooner than later if nothing is done to salvage the increasing declining patronage and skill transfer training.

They claimed the business, which is no longer lucrative, is unattractive to the youth due to the emergence of advanced technology and taste for foreign goods coupled with the current economic hardships.

The situation has dipped patronage in pottery, basketry and traditional sandals making, the now cash-strapped artisans say they can no longer produce varieties.

Mr Kwaku Yeboah, a producer of local sandals, the craftsmen’s spokesperson, told the Ghana News Agency that “ we fear we would go to our graves with the craftsmanship since the youth is not interested in our skill and are not coming up to be trained.

“This is what would lead to the industry going extinct because we cannot hand down the legacy to the strong and energetic youth”, he lamented.

He added that this same situation has made it difficult for people to buy even a pair not to talk of bulk purchase.

Mr Asare Baffour, a basket weaver, was also not happy that plastic manufacturing companies had taken over the basketry business, citing that, women now go to the market with polythene bags and plastics baskets instead of the previous cane baskets.

Mr Ekow Sampson, the Regional Manager of the Ghana Tourist Authority (GTA) shared the sentiments of the artisans and said the situation was having a negative impact on the industry.

He stressed that a modern Ghanaian would purchase a blender over the traditional grinding pot “Asanka”, a fridge over an earthenware pot cooler and the like.

Mr Sampson admitted though that these gadgets are convenient, Ghanaians must sill patronize the use of our own traditional products to help preserve the culture of the land. GNA

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