Ghana has a lot offer in terms of cultural wealth and diversity. With the growth of the tourism industry , the cultural sector has the potential to play an increasing economic role. Recognizing the importance of cultural heritage , particularly in relation to traditional textile, and its potential role economic development, the European Commission accepted in November 2007 , to support the “Ghana Traditional Textile Project: Conservation and Tourism Development” with GH CEDIS 340,000, funded through a grant over a period of three years. The project is being implemented under the Nature Conservation Research Centre (NCRC).
This project follows an innovative approach in making the link between cultural heritage, preservative of cultural tradition and economic development in order to improve the life of the people of four traditional textile communities in three different regions(Volta, Ashanti and Northern Regions) and to stimulate tourism facilities in four selected towns (Adanwomase,Kpetoe, Ntonso and Daboya)
This is intended to generate more revenue, create jobs and therefore reduce the existing poverty of the residents in the area and its surroundings and improving their social and economic conditions.
Furthermore, the Ghana Traditional Textile Project has also the potential to contribute to regional integration in the cultural sector, promoting cultural richness and intangible values of Ghanaian traditional textiles across Ghana and hopefully also West Africa and increasing the number of tourists coming to Ghana from all around the world to appreciate and enjoy a world-class traditional textile tourism experience.Within the project activities, the Adanwomase Visitor’s Centre in the Ashanti Region was officially launched on April 29, at Adanwomase.
With the CISP programme, the European Commission intends to support the National Cultural Strategy of Ghan by funding activities in the areas of human resources development, employment and income generation, research and support to non state actors from the Cultural sector. The main target group are civil society organizations because of their commitment to the development of democracy and the promotion of shared values, such as national unity within the context of ethnic diversity.
The contribution from the European Commission for the CISP is 2 Million Euros over a period of three and a half years, til end of 2010. All project activities are implemented by National Commission on Culture.
With the realisation of the Adanwomase Visitor’s Centre, the joint efforts in the planning and preparation of the project have been proved successful and the community of Adanwomase has now the means and the opportunity to enhance the capacity of traditional weavers across Ghana. The centre provides a place where traditional weavers can show/expose their products and where tourists can come, appreciate and buy traditional textiles. It’s a simple building with a main room where textiles are displayed and a small office for the centre administrator.
It is important to stress that the construction of the centre is going on hand in hand with building capacity of the people. Indeed , the European Commission would have missed an important objective without investing in the most specious resource of Adanwomase: its people. That is why partnerships established with private tourism sector, training of guides and tourism service providers and other capacity building activities are also taking place within the framework of this project. Ms. Sara Piccoli, Cultural Programme Officer at the EC Delegation in Accra, attended the event. In the larger context of the EC support to culture in Ghana, this project creates important synergy and complementary with the Cultural Initiatives Support Programme in Ghana, also well known as CISP programme.