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Sharing skills: India to Africa

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3Aug

An update from INBAR’s work on South-South knowledge transfer strategies

Almost 90 local craftsmen in Ethiopia and Tanzania have received training as part of INBAR’s IFAD- and EU-funded project, South-South knowledge transfer strategies. Two experts on bamboo furniture and handicrafts from India, Mr. Rajendra Deb barma and Mr. Sandeep Singh, spent over two months in Ethiopia and Tanzania respectively. The craftsmen conducted training on how to produce high quality, contemporary bamboo furniture and handicrafts. This included the demonstration of new furniture and weaving techniques, as well as new product designs.

In Tanzania, training sessions were held at three locations: Isongole Village, Rungwe District; Mbeya; and Ugwachanya Village, Iringa.  A total of 71 beneficiaries, mainly made up of youth, widows and single mothers, with prior working skills and knowledge of bamboo, were trained on making new furniture products and in bamboo crafts.

In Ethiopia, training was conducted with youths at Bahirdar and Injibara, Amhara region. A total of 16 beneficiaries were trained during the period.

Overall, the training programme focused on 20 new product designs, and techniques including: the selection of bamboo, primary processing, component production, joinery techniques, assembly, and finishing. As well as production training, craftsmen were also trained in marketing techniques and were taught how they could fetch better market prices for their finished products.

The aim of these training sessions is to enhance the skills of craftsmen and to revitalize the bamboo sector in two countries through the introduction of innovative designs and new weaving techniques. Some training was aimed at “master trainers”, who will help to transfer knowledge to other craftsmen in future.