Promotion of the kente industry in Ejisu-Juaben District

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In a bid to promote non-traditional tradeables and exports by the Government of Ghana the kente industry is one of the Small Scale Industries, which has received a lot of attention. After 15 years the lot of the kente industry has not changed much. The growth of the industry can be described as very slow. Weavers are abandoning the trade to go in for different trade. Socio-cultural norms still make it very difficult for women weavers to ply the trade. With Ejisu Juaben as the study area, the objective of this study was therefore; to identify the problems leading to the slow growth of the industry; to explore the prospects of the Kente industry as an endogenous potential to local development; and to make recommendations for the promotion of the Kente industry in Ejisu-Juaben. The study revealed that most of the weavers have very low education and lack entrepreneurial skills. Other constraints impeding the growth of the industry include lack of capital, sky rocketing prices of yarns, inability of weavers to take advantage of the strategic location of the district and the infrastructure within. It is still male dominated and controlled by exploitive and powerful middlemen. Nevertheless the industry has a lot of potentials for growth and also can contribute towards the development of the district. This is due to the fact that apart from the yarn, which comes from outside the district, all the accessories for weaving come from the district. The district can boast of indigenous people with weaving skills and infrastructure needed to develop the industry. Furthermore, the geographical location of the industry makes it accessible to other parts of the region as well as the country. The demand for the product overseas also makes it a foreign exchange earner. The industry has the potential to create a lot of jobs for the youthful population and generate a lot of revenue to the district assembly should the activities of the industry be streamlined. As a way of promoting the industry the study proposes intervention strategies at three levels. At the macro level the study calls for strategies which will check the sky rocketing of prices of raw materials and policies which are friendly to SSIs development and sustainability. Promotion strategies at the meso level targets decentralised institutions and what they have to do to promote SSIs in the areas of credit provision, training, and promotion of women participation and formation of trade associations. At the micro level capacity building of entrepreneurs to combine factors of production effectively is recommended.
A Thesis Submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Development Planning and Management, 2000