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Agbozume Kente weavers cry for help

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Kente Weavers
Kente Weaver

Kente Weavers at Agbozume in the Ketu South Municipality of the Volta Region, have appealed to the Government and other stakeholders to help curb the canker of middlemen in the Agbozume Kente market.

According to them, this urgent request is to stem the canker of cheating by middlemen in the Agbozume Kete Market.

Mr. Paul Awuku, a renowned weaver and member of the Agbozume Kente Weavers Association, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency, said Kente weaving has for several decades been a source of livelihood for indigenes of the area.

He said the trade, which had helped a lot of people in the area to pay for their tuition to acquire higher education, is no longer lucrative and attractive due to cheating and other financial challenges.

Mr. Awuku said the number of weavers in the business now as compared to some years ago was on the rise which had reduced the business to a-hand-to-mouth one in the area.

He said, “the activities of these middlemen in the market has worsened the trade in a way that many weavers are running at a loss and cannot even make ends meet.”

“These middlemen, because of the low patronage of our Kente these days, will offer us pittances, take our Kente to Accra and Kumasi and even Nigeria and sell them at exorbitant prices, depriving us of our earnings,” he said.

He appealed to the Ministry of Trade and Industry to intervene in this disturbing situation, adding that the Ministry’s intervention would help revive the occupation in the area and to boost the Kente Industry in the country.

Mr. Awuku further called on the authorities to assist in putting measures in place to bring some sanity in their operation in the market so as to sustain their livelihoods.

Mr. Godson Sena Adjavon, a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) resource person, who has worked closely with the Kente weavers in the area, in an interaction with the GNA, said the UNDP was working with the weavers in the areas of training and capacity building to enable them improve upon their trade and maximize their incomes, to earn more to cater for their dependents.

He said the UNDP had concluded plans to build a Kente Village in the enclave to assist the local people harness their potential and to catch up with new market trends in the industry.

He revealed that land acquisition and feasibility studies have been concluded for the construction of the Kente Village and assured them of the execution of the project in a couple of months to benefit the local weavers.

Kente weaving is particularly famous with the people of Sóme Traditional Area, with its capital located at Agbozume.

As with other Ewe people of South-Eastern Ghana, kente weaving is an occupation which the people brought with them from Hogbe, the centres of emigration including Ketu in Yorubaland and Ŋɔtsie in modern Togo.

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