Handicraft : Opportunities, Innovations Explored

A regional 4-day handicraft exhibition grouping some 90 crafters took place recently in Limbe, Fako

Some 90 crafters from the six Divisions of the South West Region gathered at the premises of the Chamber of Commerce at Down Beach, Limbe recently to showcase their savvy in the handicraft sector. The regional handicraft exhibition which with intension to produce 40 South West flag-bearers for the national exhibition early next year turned out to be an event for crafters as well as the administration to explore opportunities and innovations in the sector. They exhibited in cosmetics, pharmaceutical, recycle Arts, paining, dress design, food transformation, woodwork and sculpture, amongst others.    .  South West Regional Delegate of Small and Medium-size Enterprises, Bake Irene Lobe, said there are 4484 crafters and craft associations duly registered in the South West. Of this number, Fako Division stands tall with 1364. It is closely followed by Meme with 1332. Then comes Manyu with 779. Lebialem is next with 545, Kupe Muanenguba has 353 while Ndian closes the list with 111 crafters. She indicated that all these are direct recruitment to the crafters and that the sector contributes 30 per cent to the national Gross Domestic Product. The South West Regional Exhibition held on the theme, “Handicraft Today; Realities and Opportunities,” was formally opened by South West Governor, Bernard Okalia Bilai. In the presence of top administrative officials of the region, he said the vitality of the handicraft sector necessitates the support of everyone. He cited the handicraft centre at Mile 4 Limbe, numerous seminars organised and grants to laureates as part of governments resolve to make the sector enviable. Bake Irene said the exhibition is to detect new opportunities, innovations and presents it products. The size of the market will equally be estimated with competitors identified, “We will solicit necessary competence required to market their product. The social media is one of the useful tools,” she said. They equally used this year’s event to evaluate achievements in their mission of fostering the craft sector, we were told.

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