45 artisans in bamboo, rattan industry undergoing training


A one-month training of 45 artisans in the bamboo and rattan industry has taken off at the Forestry Commission Training Centre at Akyawkrom, in the Ejisu Municipality of the Ashanti Region. 

Under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Commerce of China and organised by the International Centre for Bamboo and Rattan (ICBR), China National Forestry and Grassland Administration, the training is co-hosted by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources(MLNR) and International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR), Ghana.

With the trainers from China, the participants are expected to transfer the acquired knowledge to those in their operation areas to enhance the bamboo and rattan industry in the country. It is the second of its kind; the first was in 2018.

Opening the training, the team leader of the ICBR, Wang Gan, expressed the Chinese government’s determination to continue to train artisans in the bamboo and rattan industry to boost the economy of Ghana.

He mentioned that in 2018, the output value from bamboo in China was more than US$33.7 billion, “and just as China’s bamboo product is the first in the world, so is their determination to ensure Ghana becomes the number one with its producers in Africa.”

Mr Gan indicated that the ICBR was affiliated to the China National Forestry and Grassland Administration, and as a research institute, the best for bamboo and rattan products in Ghana was “just a matter of days.”

Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, was full of praise for the Chinese government for the training, since it would go a long way to improve on the skills of the artisans to enable them compete with their products at the international level. 

He noted that bamboo and rattan resources put together have been identified as the most suitable complement to timber in building and other construction works as well as furniture making.

Ghana, he indicted, was determined to develop the bamboo and rattan industry to create sustainable employment for the rural youth, in particular and urged the participants to take the training very serious to improve their skills in production to compete internationally. 

Mr Stephen Osafo-Owusu, president of INBAR, Ghana, thanked the Chinese government for sponsoring 20 artisans for a three months training in China in 2016 and also 160 in 2018 at the Forestry Commission Training Centre, saying that the training had really helped improve the artisans’ knowledge and businesses.

Mr Osafo-Owusu said “Ghana is endowed with bamboo and rattan resources, but because there is not much support from the government the sector is not attractive.”

According to him, the artisans had been in the industry for a long time but the training had really been of immense benefit to them and it would go a long way to enhance, transform and revolutionise the industry in Ghana.

Mr Simon Osei-Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister, noted that the training would further strengthen the Ghana-China cooperation and illustrate South-South cooperation for bamboo and rattan development in Africa.

FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, AKYAWKROM

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