The Country Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr. Wilfred Ochan, has made an appeal to the public to patronize locally produced products to boost the economy.
According to him, patronizing clothes designed and made by Ghanaians will go a long way to support small and medium enterprises in the fashion industry.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Fashion Expressions Project, he said, “In this meeting, we brought a vast group of stakeholders to draw attention to these new entrants in the fashion industry. Our intention is to increase local patronage of clothes designed and made by Ghanaians.
I would suggest that institutions that wear uniforms contact small and medium businesses like these people to help grow their businesses.”
Executive Director of International Needs Ghana, Cromwell Awadey was optimistic that the beneficiaries would make good livelihoods with their skills. “I believe the lives of these ladies have been transformed with the intensive training we gave them.
Trainees of the Project spent the first six months acquiring theoretical knowledge in Fashion and some minor elements of practicals. The second part of the training is an industrial attachment with eight local Fashion Houses.
The Fashion Show climaxes their industrial attachment,” he stated. The project is a unique Fashion Training Programme that seeks to advance and mentor aspiring fashion professionals as well as equip them with the necessary tools. Some beneficiaries shared their excitement and expressed gratitude. Ruby Buah, CEO of KUA, one of the 8 Fashion Houses that provided the industrial attachment for the beneficiaries said, “being part of such an initiative to make women employable is great. I am happy to be a part of it and do my bit in making sure that we have quite a percentage of women who can have a business of theirs, employ people, and go ahead to train others”.
Another beneficiary, Pamela Afatsawo shared, “I am very excited because it has given me the opportunity to become the fashion designer I have always dreamed of.” The Fashion Expressions Project which is being piloted in Ghana and Kenya, aims to leverage the socio-economic power of fashion as a vehicle to promote women’s empowerment.
International Needs Ghana in partnership with UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, and the PRADA Group, a reputable player in the fashion industry implemented the Fashion Expressions Project. It also organized a fashion show to climax the one-year intensive training in Fashion for 18 Young women.