30 August 2019 – Following last year’s successful training, 26 August saw the launch of a month-long Product Development Training Course co-organised by INBAR through the Inter-Africa Bamboo Smallholder Development Programme, The Chinese Ministry of Commerce, and the Ghanaian Government.
The Inter Africa Bamboo Smallholder Farmers Livelihood Development Programme, funded by the International Fund for Agriculture Development, is supporting smallholder farmers, women and youth by upscaling their participation in climate-smart bamboo value chains in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana and Madagascar. At the end of this training workshop, the women and youth are expected to acquire unique skills and techniques essential for transforming bamboo and rattan into high quality products.
Enhancing skills and techniques to improve economic livelihood and job creation using bamboo
The hands-on training is designed to improve the skills of the local artisans, specifically in using modern processing tools and equipment to construct strong and quality bamboo furniture. This would enhance the market value of products and strengthen their competiveness within the West-Africa sub-region. Participants after the training are expected to apply their new skills in their businesses to enhance their income. The training would also enhance the practical skills of trainees specifically in areas such as primary processing of bamboo and rattan, furniture design, cutting, joinery and product finishing. A key outcome of the Inter-Africa bamboo programme is reducing poverty and increased employment for women and youth through bamboo value –addition and skills development. This training contributes significantly to this outcome and serves as a critical pathway towards providing descent jobs and income for many unemployed or under-employed people.
Kwaku Donkor, a beneficiary trainee (see above), said,
“Many unemployed people come to my workshop for training on how to make furniture using bamboo and rattan. I am happy to bepart of this programme because, at the end, my skills will be sharpened and I can transfer this knowledge to others. This way, they can also earn a living out of bamboo and rattan”.
The Counsellor of the Economic and Commercial Counsellor’s Office of the Chinese Embassy in Ghana in his remarks said that “China is happy to assist countries with bamboo resources to fully develop the industry and grow their economies. Such south-south bilateral collaborations between China and Africa is needed to lift many out of poverty, improve the environment and drive sustainable development.”
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon. Simon Osei-Mensah was optimistic that, “the training would provide the needed additional human skill capacity to support bamboo industrial development and promote the recognition of bamboo and rattan in the national economy, environment and social development agenda of Ghana”. He further encouraged trainees to use the opportunity to fully explore the various possibilities with bamboo and rattan using china’s bamboo sector development as a reference point. He noted that Ghana is at a critical position and the experience and lessons learned in such bilateral skills training have the tendency to inspire the entire West Africa sub-region.
Other invited quests who also shared solidarity messages and encouragement to trainees included Stephen Osafo-Owusu, President of National Bamboo and Rattan Association and Dr. Kwakye Ameyaw, Representative of the Chief Executive Officer of Forestry Commission of Ghana.
To find out more about the Inter-Africa Bamboo Smallholder Farmers Development Programme, click here.
See below for more pictures of the first days of this powerful course.