AmCham Ghana met with Pyxera Global and Jaipur Rugs to discuss opportunities in Ghana’s weaving industry and means to promote and preserve craftsmanship in the sector, and also connect it to the global supply chain under the African Artisan Community Engagement and Export Initiative.
Under-resourced artisan communities face constant challenges that pose a significant risk to their long-term stability. They confront the impacts of globalization, climate change, and technological advances.
Specifically, communities of weavers across the African continent are under threat. While woven fabric holds with its cultural identity and connection, local demand for these cloths are in significant decline, and demand for high-quality woven fabrics within the countries where they are produced is extremely low today, not in small part because of low-cost Chinese imports or other machine-produced and less expensive options.
To address the challenges faced by weaving communities while taking advantage of the rising global demand for artisan products, the African Artisan Community Engagement and Export Initiative (AACEE) partners – AmCham Ghana, PYXERA Global Ghana, Association of Ghana Industries, and Jaipur Rugs, propose a highly unusual approach—the replication or adaptation of the framework of a scaled handicraft enterprise in India to Africa.
This broad effort seeks to transform weaving communities from producers of handicrafts into hubs of entrepreneurial excellence. Beginning in Ghana and Ethiopia, weavers in the AACEE program will participate in skilling activities, receive contracts for the delivery of specific woven products, and be linked into high-value global supply chains.
Jaipur Rugs is a 40-year-old, fully-scaled artisan enterprise that works with 40,000 women weavers in India, as well as with entrepreneurs across the rug supply chain, and with luxury handicraft
buyers in dozens of countries. Jaipur Rugs will serve as a knowledge partner, sharing their proven model for scale, as well as insights and connections to potential retail and wholesale export markets.
Executive Secretary of AmCham Ghana, Simon Madjie, assured that the chamber is ready and will provide the necessary support to ensure the success of the African Artisan Community Engagement and Export Initiative.