Oguaa arts and craft dealers decry low patronage

Cape Coast, Dealers in arts and craft in the Cape Coast Metropolis have decried the low patronage of their goods as a result of the importation of cheap works from Asia and parts of Africa.

Mr Robert Aboagye, Executive Member of the Arts and Craft Dealers Association (ACDA), in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the cheap foreign artifacts were making it difficult for local artifacts to compete on the market.

He called on the Ministry of Trade to regulate or ban such imports to promote and protect the local arts industry.

Another issue of concern that was hampering their activities were superstitious beliefs associated with arts and craft items in the country adding that people should disabuse their minds because they were just art works for beautification.

The artifacts include leather wares, wood carvings, traditional musical instruments, beads, locally made sandals, paintings, silver and bronze jewelleries.

Mr Aboagye said the high cost of transportation is a major concern as many of their products are brought in from different parts of the country.

The dealer described the industry as key to Ghana’s cultural transformation agenda and job creation and appealed to Government to support that industry to create more employment for the youth.

Madam Dora Arhin, an arts and craft dealer, also expressed concern about the superstitious beliefs associated with arts works and the misconception that arts and craft works were for the rich and Africans in the Diaspora.

The unfounded misconception and biases that some arts and craft works such as mask and sculptured wooden items are demonic is one big factor derailing the progress and sustainability of the industry, she said.

She appealed Ghanaians to patronize their wares to sustain the nation’s cultural heritage for posterity.

Madam Arhin urged the Ministry to remain committed to implementing a coordinated campaign for the patronage of Made-in-Ghana Arts and Craft, to promote local artisans to produce works that would stand the test of time.

She described Ghana’s arts as unique and called for skills and capacity building for arts and craft artisans within the industry.

Scores of other dealers and artisans who spoke with the GNA called for an enactment of laws for public places to display indigenous arts and craft that express the cultural values and historical experiences in the society.

Source: Ghana News Agency