|Textiles at the Makola Market: PIX: Mamadou Edrisa Njie/April2010|
Dealers in the Ghanaian local textile industry have made a strong case for government to implement laws regarding the importation of textile products from other countries especially China.
This has become necessary because the dealers claim that the imported textiles were cheap, the local textiles were not selling and that was throwing most of them out of their businesses.
The dealers who were mostly women further indicated that the imported textiles appeared in the designs and logos of the local textile therefore making it difficult for the public to differentiate between the local and imported ones.
This issue was raised when a group of West African journalists, attending a training on “The Media’s Role in Conflict Transformation and Peace Building” visited the Makola Market to seek views of traders on the state of the local textile industry in Ghana.
Mrs. Lydia Baah Sackey, a local textile dealer, told the group that she had been dealing in GTP and ATL, some of the brands of the local textiles for many years but of late the business had gone down because of the influx of the cheap imported textiles.
She noted that most customers went for the imported textiles mainly from China, since the local textile designs logos had been pirated and therefore appeared like a local textile.
Mrs. Sackey emphasized the need for government to implement the laws regarding textile importation and also called for education on patriotism to ensure that the public purchased the local textiles to sustain the industry.
The team of journalist observed at the textiles enclave at the Makola market that, there were more imported textiles on display than the locally produced textiles.
Some of the dealers in the imported textiles trade in an interview told the team that imported textiles sold faster than the local ones because of its lower prices.
The general secretary of the Textiles, Garments and Leather Employees Union (TGLEU), Mr. Abraham Koomson, in a briefing said the influx of the imported textiles had almost collapsed the local industry citing the drop of 25,000 employees in 1975 to 2,500 workforce in 2012.
He said although the TGLEU who had been championing the cause of the local textile industry was not against the importation of other textiles, but wanted the right thing to be done such as in the case of pirating designs and logos from the local textiles.
Mr. Koomson indicated that for many economical reasons including energy and labour cost, the imported textiles were produced at lower cost coupled with the many lapses in the payment of import and customs taxes.
Author: Mafugi Ceesay, from Accra