The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has advised players in the arts and craft sector to use this COVID-19 period to be more innovative and undertake research into new ways of doing things to enable them to bounce back stronger after the disease.
Mr Albert Kassim Diwura, a Deputy Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, who gave the advice, said “We also encourage you to use this down time to learn something new, make good use of social media as a means of promoting your wares so that post-COVID-19, we can all emerge stronger together.”
Mr Diwura gave the advice when he, on behalf of GEPA, presented Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the leadership of the Arts and Craft Association in the Northern Region in Tamale to keep them and their clients safe to minimise the spread of the COVID-19 in the country.
The PPE included 200 bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitisers, 200 face masks, four veronica buckets complete with water basins, liquid soap, disposable tissue and thrash bins.
GEPA is mandated to develop and promote the country’s non-traditional exports, which include the arts and craft sector hence the support to them.
The operations of the arts and craft sector in the Northern Region took a nose dive since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country on March 12, as many of their customers, mostly foreigners, had not been visiting to patronise their wares due to the closure of the borders.
The arts and craft sector comprises smock weavers, African arts and handicraft designers.
Mr Diwura acknowledged the challenges confronting the arts and craft industry in the country saying innovation, creativity and researching into new ways of doing things would help the industry players to improve their operations and achieve more in shorter time after this pandemic.
He said even though the pandemic had led to closure of national borders across the globe, GEPA was ready and would continue to work to ensure that products by the arts and craft sector players were exported to ensure that they remained in business.
Madam Salamatu Larry, Member of the Arts and Craft Association in the Northern Region, who spoke on behalf of members, said the pandemic has slowed down their businesses as patronage had gone down.
She thanked GEPA for the support, saying the items had come at the right time as they have started resuming their operations.