The influx of imported furniture appears to be pushing local manufacturers out of business as some consumers have expressed their preference for second-hand furniture.
According to 2019 figures from the Ghana Revenue Authority, the average annual furniture import is pegged at GHS 180.3 million. Local artisans are therefore calling for more investment in the local industry to remain competitive.
Furniture gives complete design to homes. It adds up to making one’s home feel welcoming. However, in the Ghanaian space, there appears to be that growing desire for imported furniture over locally manufactured ones.
Mr. Festus Tenkorang, who has been in the business of importing second-hand furniture for over a decade, argues that the locally made furniture is of poor quality, hence a decline in its patronage.
“One can easily ascertain the quality of second-hand imported furniture. Although it has been used overseas, one can tell it is made of quality materials and this can be reused here in Ghana for 20 years without it getting spoilt,” he said.
“But if we compare our locally manufactured ones to the imported ones, the materials we use are not of standard. Quite a number of people were used to the Ghana-made furniture until they started using the imported ones which offer better durability,” he argued.
Gabriel Ankrah a local artisan who has been in this trade for over three decades refuted claims that the locally manufactured furniture is of inferior quality.
He tells Citi News that it all bores down to the kind of material used by the artisan coupled with his experience.
“Usually it depends on the individual local artisan to give off his best; some of us had the right training. And there are times that the cost of the materials also affects the quality of the products we produce,” he said.
“Some time ago, business was somewhat lucrative until there was an increase in the importation of second-hand furniture into the country,” he noted.
He also urged government to offer support in the form of investment for the local industry to thrive.
“I want to tell government to depend on our locally manufactured furniture and again offer Investment in our local Industry, there are times that one may be equally skilled but lacks financial capital to give off his best,” he added.
Citi News had an up-close with some individuals who held varied opinions about the durability of locally manufactured furniture.