The Chairman of the Textile Workers Union, Abraham Koomson claims the National Friday wear program has created jobs for Chinese textile manufacturers and not Ghanaian textile industry players.
Speaking to Onua Business News, he said even though the campaign to wear African prints on Fridays has been a success, the objective of creating jobs through the extensive use of local fabrics is yet to be realized.
The National Friday Wear programme is an initiative launched in November 2004 with the aim of projecting a unique Ghanaian identity through the use of local fabric and designs as business wear.
The programme, initiated by the Ministry of Trade during the Kufuor administration, sets aside Fridays for all public officers and the private sector, as much as practicable, to wear locally designed garments produced from locally manufactured fabrics.
It was part of a comprehensive programme to promote made-in-Ghana goods and to revitalise the textile and garments industry. Years down the line, the initiative seems to have been a success as people are seen even on days aside Fridays wearing African clothes to the office.
However, a chunk of the African prints are imported from China, creating employment for the Chinese.
Some of the fabrics are also pirated designs from Ghanaian textile manufacturers. This has become a challenge for the local textile industry with some laying off workers as they are unable to compete with the cheap products being imported and sometimes smuggled into the country.
Commenting on the issue, Mr. Abraham Koomson says most of the smuggled textiles come through unapproved routes at Ghana’s borders, whilst others are taken through the borders with the connivance with some custom officials. He was however hopeful that the minister designate for Trade and Industry , Alan Kyeremateng will help resolve these challenges.
By Rosina Foster |3news.com|Ghana