The Swiss Government through the International Trade Centre in Geneva and Ghana’s Trade Ministry has provided US$ 3.5 million grant to Ghana towards the promotion of the fashion and fabric industry.
The amount would be used to support young entrepreneurs in the industry, to enable them to expand their businesses and produce goods, capable of competing on the international market thereby creating more jobs.
The grant, sourced by the Ethical Fashion Initiative Ghana Project, is also aimed at improving the economic situation of poor communities by creating jobs through the establishment of sustainable supply chain in textiles and fashion between suppliers from Ghana and customers from Europe.
Mr Andrea Semadeni, Swiss ambassador to Ghana, said these at a media briefing in Accra.
He said: “This would be achieved by first establishing links with design fashion industry in Europe in order to respond to the current needs and taste of international markets. Ghana is benefiting from the grant because it has great potential and is well-positioned to respond to the prevailing market conditions. Ghana has, therefore, become the hub for the production of traditional fabrics.”
Mr Semadeni stressed that the project would also propel young Ghanaian entrepreneurs and designers in the fashion and textile industry onto the international fashion value chain.
He said the project team would work in collaboration with the International Labour Association to ensure the protection of workers’ rights.
Mr Semadeni said the project would also work to protect intellectual property of individual designers.
He noted that the Ethical Fashion Initiative hinged mainly on three pillars, identification of the demand of business, response from the local market and the fulfilment of social labour and environmental standards.
The Programme Manager of SECO, Ms Irenka Krone Germann, said the project, being the first of its kind in West Africa, was intended to empower institutions and businesses for sustainable self-reliance.
Chief Director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Nii Ansah-Adjaye, expressed appreciation to the Government of Switzerland for the support, and expressed the hope that the project would help young Ghanaian entrepreneurs to improve upon their operations.
He said the project was in line with Government of Ghana’s industrial sector support programme, and confirmed the Government’s commitment to working towards the betterment of the lives of Ghanaians in marginalised and deprived communities.
Mr Ansah-Adjaye commended SECO’s development co-operation efforts at empowering institutions and businesses to become self-reliant.
The project would be mentored by Icons of the fashion world, including Ghanaian fashion designer, Kofi Ansah.