The industrial art and craft sub-sector contributed a total of $30,630,413 (1.08 per cent) of Ghana’s non-traditional exports (NTEs) earnings in 2020, the report on ‘Analysis of Non-Traditional Export Statistics’ has revealed.
The figure indicates an increase of 110.88 per cent from $14,524,610 in 2019, and it is attributed to the increasing demand for made-in-Ghana ceramic products across West Africa, expansion in capacity of production plants, and operationalisation of new manufacturing concerns in the product sector.
The report, which was launched in Accra by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA),in Accra on December 8, 2021said ceramic products was the top earner ($27.7million) within the sub-sector with a contribution of 90.45 per cent.
It said the lowest earner in this category was batik/tye and dye earning $55.8 thousand. The total value of the top 10 earners of this sub-sector amounted to $30,568,002 representing 99.79 per cent.
Improving the sub-sector
The Chief Executive Officer( CEO) of GEPA, Dr Afua Asabea Asare, at the launch of the report in Accra on December 8, 2021over the years, said the GEPA had taken the lead in identifying a wide variety of products in the categories of agribusiness, processed and semi-processed items, handicraft and professional services.
Thus, she said the authority introduced a number of initiatives to uplift the handicraft sector and improve output generally to enable Ghana’s art and craft to regain an enviable position on the export market.
“Work has begun in Aburi to construct an ultramodern craft centre that will serve as a tourist shopping centre, as well as an exhibition space. We have similar plans for the art and craft centres in Abrafo in the Central Region, Kpetoe in the Volta Region and the Bolga straw market in the Upper East Region,” she said.
She added that those initiatives were aligned with the industrialisation agenda of the government.
Last year, the GEPA handed over a multi-faceted bauxite beads production facility to the Abompe community in the Fanteakwa South District in the Eastern Region.
The structure, which will serve as a common-use facility for bauxite beads producers in the community, includes a new workshop that comprises a production floor space, a warehouse and washroom facilities.
The facility had also been equipped with seven machines to enhance the production process and increase output.
Also, members of the Abompe Bauxite Beads Producers Association (ABBPA), the main beneficiary of the facility, were given intensive training on the use of the machines to enable them to maximise their output.
The NTE sector is categorised into three main sub-sectors: agriculture, processed/semi-processed, and industrial art and craft sub-sectors.
According to the report, earnings for beads increased due to the application of social media for advertising and receiving export orders for the product during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There was an increase in production to match growth in exports order with more youth entering into the beads making industry,” it said.
However, earnings for hides and skin fell due to the unavailability of raw material, which is usually sourced from Burkina Faso.