Gushegu (N/R), Sept. 30, GNA – Dr Ziblim Barri Iddiru, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, has cut the sod for the construction of the National Smock Factory in Gushegu in the Northern Region of Ghana.
The factory which is expected to commence in October and end by the end of 2018 would be the centre of smock making in the Eastern corridor.
At the sod cutting ceremony in Gushegu, Dr Iddi said the establishment of the smock weaving centre is for people far and near to come and learn how to weave, sew and more importantly to take the culture out of the country, to make it a global but not just a Gonja thing.
He said smock over the years has been a symbol of the north, and has been showcased more than any other cloth in the country, adding that with the factory in place it would gradually become the pride of Ghana.
The Deputy Minister said the Ministry is trying to project the north as the gateway to the Sahelian region, and Gushegu would be the Gateway and Centre For Smock making through the Sahelian market.
He said the project is going to be a public private partnership project, but the Ministry has began the search for private interventions.
The factory according to the deputy Minister would be producing on a large scale, and as such costs would be reduced.
He said the price of a smock, comes from the cost, so when both are put together, with government making provisions for production, cost would be reduced.
He said government would create an enabling environment for the workers, as well as upgrade the skills of the local producers or weavers, to be able to produce in larger quantities and good standards for the international market.
“Most of the items and materials used in weaving or see the smock are locally made, and we are going to create an enabling environment, for the materials to be still locally produced.”
Mr Musah Issah, the District Chief Executive of Gushegu, said the district was grateful to government for the project, saying they were interested in the economic growth and the creation of employment opportunities for the youth in the district.
He said the district is noted for the smock weaving profession and out of constant practice from generation to generation there was no better place to talk about beautiful and quality smocks.
He said the establishment of the factory, signifies that government recognizes tourism as a critical tool for sustainable development and a potential for massive job creation.
“The sod cutting today will bring back hope and prosperity to many lives, and livelihoods to a teaming population of youth whose resilience and sacrifice sustain the temp and the forward March of the district.”
Mr Issah called on development partners, the district, stakeholders, the chiefs and religious bodies to support government, so that together they chart a serious path of development for the interest of all.
Regent of Gushegu, Abukari Yakubu Bawa lauded government for the initiative saying it would bring massive development to the community together with the free Senior High school project.
He urged all to appreciate various cultures and appealed to government to come and support the women population with a Dawadawa factory, since most of them are engaged in the production of Dawadawa.