Emefa Jewellery wow
Emefa Jewellery wow

The Federation of Ghanaian Jewellers (FGJ) has expressed worry over the gradual collapse of the goldsmith industry which continues to serve as a dominant employer in certain areas of the country.

They said there is the need for the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to quickly come together and lobby the government to give the Association a quota of the gold remitted to the country by multinational mining companies.

“The government should give us only ten ounces for a start and the standard board help us with standardisation of finished goods and see what difference we will make to the GDP of the country…. In fact the industry has a lot to offer in terms of employment, economic empowerment and adding to the rich history for the country, ” Mr David Ellemawusi Kweku Nimo, Western Regional Secretary of the Federation

During a stakeholders meeting held recently, he said “our indigenous work and artefacts are all vanishing because we can no longer make them… the gold is now very expensive to buy”.

Mr Nimo said in the past, after obtaining licence from the Bank of Ghana, a goldsmith with Police authorisation could buy gold and work with it, but the current situation is different adding “now most of us have not been licenced and over some three years now our expired licenses have not been renewed by the Ministry in charge….how are we expected to work, train young ones and even feed our families”.

He said the Act establishing their existence and mandate was by far outmoded and since 15 February 1990, the CAP 149, the law concerning their operations has not been reviewed which called for urgent regulatory attention.

Currently, the Federation is calling on the government to review the PNDC Law 218 and 219, backing the purchase and transaction of minerals by local businessmen.

Mr Nimo said making gold and silver accessible to the blacksmith is key to reviving the indigenous goldsmith business as well as preserving local crafts and designs peculiar to the country

“Go to Turkey, India and Italy and see museums built for these local craft but, unfortunately, we are losing out and may not have anything to show the future generations,” he said.

The members of the Association, Mr Nimo said, are over 700 but during regular meetings only between 30 and 60 attend and this is worrying.

“This is a skill that the Council for Technical and Vocational Education can easily partner with the Association to train young and upcoming ones as a measure to halt unemployment, grow local industries and entrepreneurs and help fulfil the “one district one factory” policy of government “.

Mrs Marian Aggrey, a graduate in Industrial Art from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and a member of the Association, said all her colleagues have gone to sit in offices because of the lack of zeal on the part of policy makers to make the area attractive.

“There were 28 of us who graduated from the metal products designs class but only three of us are using the skills acquired…the sector is not attractive at all and we urge the current government to come to our aid”, she said.

Source: GNA/NewsGhana.com.gh

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