Ghana aims to save struggling textile sector
from MASAHUDU KUNATEH in Accra, Ghana
ACCRA – GHANA is set to initiate an intervention to revive the ailing textiles industry from the brink of collapse.
The immediate past Minister of Trade and Industry, Haruna Iddrisu, who disclosed such plans, said players in the textiles industry would receive support from the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF).
He made the announcement at the weekend when he inaugurated a 17-member reconstituted taskforce mandated to seize pirated Ghanaian textile designs in the country.
The taskforce consists of members from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ghana Police Service, National Security Council, Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Standards Authority, Accra Metropolitan Assembly and Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Others were from the Ghana Union of Traders Association, Akosombo Textile Limited, Tex Styles Limited (GTP), Printex Ghana Limited, the Textile Garment and Leather Employees Union (TGLEU), Textile Importers and Distributors Association, and Association of Small Scale Textile Producers.
Iddrisu, who inaugurated the taskforce recalled that during a media session with President John Dramani Mahama early this year, there was a decision to urgently intensify education on textile trade and its importation.
The move, according to the minister who has been reshuffled to the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, is to make known the negative impact of pirated textiles on the economy.
The Tamale South Member of Parliament (MP) noted that the contribution of the textile industry to employment creation in the country had reduced from 30 000 in the 1980s and early 1990s to its current level of about 3 000 workers.
The reduction was as a result of the trade in pirated textile designs and trademarks in the country, Iddrisu said.
To this end, a national forum on textile trade was held early this year to solicit views from stakeholders on how to enhance the work of the taskforce.
In tandem with the directive of the President Mahama, Iddrisu also gave approval for a nationwide sensitisation programme to educate consumers and traders on how to differentiate between genuine and pirated textiles.
Some of the concerns raised during the sensitisation period were calls on local manufacturers to reduce the prices of their products as this accounted for the pirating of the Ghanaian designs, he noted.
Others, Iddrisu stated were allegations that some local textile manufacturers also pirated designs by small-scale producers.
“There were concerns as to how an illiterate trader could differentiate genuine from pirated designs,” said Iddrisu.
Iddrisu said the traders expressed concern on the need for local manufacturers to produce different grades of textile to suit different categories of people.
He said government would strengthen Ghana Revenue Authority-Customs Division to seize pirated designs at the ports of entry.
Iddrisu appealed to local textile manufacturers to make available their designs in the form of a catalogue to the vetting committee, GRA- Customs and market queens in the leading markets for easy identification of textile designs.
According to him, the ministry would also, as a matter of urgency, engage Ghana’s Embassy in China and the Chinese authorities to check pirating of Ghanaian textile designs before they were imported into the country.
He said the ministry would reward informants who would give leads for the arrest of “big fish” engaged in the pirating of local textile designs.
– CAJ News
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