Mrs Gifty Twum Ampofo, Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mr Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, Ms Gifty Kekeli Klenam, Chief Executive Officer Ghana Export Promotion Authority, assisted Mrs Felicia Manu Quaye,Team Leader, Garment and Textile Cluster Initiative (GATCI) and Dr George O. Essegbey Director of CSIR-STEPRI to launch Made in Ghana Boxer shorts by GATCI On the 9th of August 2017. The event was part of GATCI`s efforts to assist in reviving the garment and texttile industry
The boxer shorts were desinged and tailored by Ghanaian tailors and dressmakers. They were made from African fabrics. The shorts and loose pants for both males and females respectively are the flagship products of GATCI. The initiative was aimed at promoting made-in-Ghana goods and also for promoting small and medium enterprises.
The initiative, dubbed: “Garment and Textile Cluster Initiative (GATCI)”, is facilitated by the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), under its Cluster Development Program (CDP).
The CDP aims at bringing together enterprises, research institutions, universities and government agencies to support small and medium-scale industries to promote innovation, value addition and competitiveness initiatives.
The launch was on the theme: “Reviving the garment and textile industry for accelerated national development”.
Launching the products, a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, said the initiative by the group was in line with the government’s efforts to revive local industries and also increase the export of non-traditional products to generate income and create employment.
He pledged the government’s support for the initiative, as it was in line with its trade policies and programmes, saying that “an attempt by an individual or group to contribute to the realisation of the government’s policies is very commendable and welcome”. He urged the group to be innovative and target the international market, considering the huge market potential in Africa and beyond, by producing not only the boxer shorts but also socks, vests, trousers, among other garments. While commending the group, he also urged them to ensure that their products were of quality, so that they could compete on the international market. He said the government would work closely with the research institutions to produce technologies to enhance the competitiveness of the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises.
The Team Leader of GATCI, Mrs Felicia Maku Quaye, said most boxer shorts imported from the West were made of materials (polyester and nylon) which are not suitable for the tropics. She added that the use of cotton African prints and fabrics to produce boxer shorts and loose pants made them more comfortable and suitable for the hot weather conditions in the country.She indicated that the network was “merging the favourable elements of Western boxer shorts and our own African prints and fabrics. We are thus not only maintaining the African style but also, more importantly, helping men to maintain healthy genitals”.
The Director of CSIR-STEPRI, Dr. George O. Essegbey, appealed for support for the CDP to enhance the competitiveness and productivity of the micro, small and medium enterprises. He explained that the CSIR-STEPRI had been involved in the cluster program since 2008. GATCI was born out of the Ghana National Tailors and Dressmakers Association to promote the interest of the group and enhance the competitiveness of the garment and textiles industry.
*In the cover picture is Mrs Gifty Twum Ampofo (right), Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mr Robert Ahomka-Lindsay (2nd right), Ms Gifty Kekeli Klenam (3rd left), Chief Executive Officer Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Mrs Felicia Manu Quaye (left), and Dr George O. Essegbey (2nd left), admiring the boxer shorts. Pictures by : Jeff Ekow Cobbah and Graphic.com.gh (Edna Adu-Serwaa).