The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of T. Y. Kente Travel and Tours, Thompson Yao Avornyotse, has inaugurated the 2023 Kete Weaving Expo as part of the Volta Trade and Investment Fair 2023.
The initiative aims to sustain existing jobs in the Kente weaving value chain while introducing innovation to create new employment opportunities for unemployed weavers and Ghanaian youth at large.
The inaugural Kente Weaving Expo 2023, themed: ‘Celebrating Our Cultural Brilliance and Achievement of Craft Practitioners to Promote Job Creation and Entrepreneurship’, seeks to bring together weavers from across Ghana.
The goal is to showcase their work, link them to both local and international markets, and safeguard the rich tradition of Kente weaving.
Mr Avornyotse, a master weaver himself, expressed the expo's purpose.
“This is to help protect the rich tradition, create and sustain jobs among existing and next-generation weavers,” he stated.
He emphasised the need for partnerships in future events, enabling weavers to blend traditional techniques with contemporary designs, create livelihoods, connect to global markets, and preserve the art of Kente weaving.
In an exclusive interview with Class News’ Volta Regional Correspondent Kingsley Attitsogbui during the official opening ceremony of the 2023 Volta Trade and Investment Fair in Ho, Mr Avornyotse outlined the expo's significance in celebrating cultural brilliance and fostering entrepreneurship.
The Programme Director of TIE Global Artisans, Kofi Koomson, highlighted that the Kente Weaving Expo is a celebration of cultural identity, creativity, and the enduring legacy of Kente. It serves as a platform for artisans to showcase their talents and gain recognition for the artistry of Kente weaving.
Over 20 Kente weavers from the Volta, Ashanti, and Northern regions have set up weaving looms as part of the expo, offering live demonstrations, interactive workshops, cultural performances, exhibitions, marketplace activities, and educational talks about Kente.
The 2023 Kente Weaving Expo is part of the 6th edition of the Volta Trade and Investment Fair, themed ‘Leveraging the African Continental Free Trade Area for Economic Development’.
Running from November 26 to December 10, 2023, at the Ho Jubilee Park, the fair aims to provide a platform for startups and existing businesses to showcase their products, promoting economic growth and industrialisation for sustainable development in the Volta region.
The official opening ceremony on Tuesday, November 28, 2023, was attended by business leaders, members of the diplomatic corps, and other stakeholders, marking the commencement of the fair for the general public.