The Country Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr. Wilfred Ochan, has called on the public to support the local economy by purchasing domestically produced goods.
During the Fashion Expressions Project event, Dr. Wilfred Ochan emphasized the importance of buying clothing designed and manufactured by Ghanaians. This, he believes, will provide significant support to small and medium enterprises within the fashion industry.
“In this meeting we brought a vast group of stakeholders to draw attention to these new entrants in the fashion industry. Our intention is to increase local patronage of clothes designed and made by Ghanaians. I would suggest that institutions that wear uniforms contact small and medium businesses like these people to help grow their businesses,” he said.
International Needs Ghana, in collaboration with UNFPA (the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency) and the PRADA Group, a prominent fashion industry player, launched the Fashion Expressions Project. As part of this initiative, International Needs Ghana organized a fashion show to mark the culmination of a one-year intensive fashion training program for 18 young women.
Cromwell Awadey, the Executive Director of International Needs Ghana, expressed optimism that the beneficiaries of this program would be able to secure a sustainable livelihood with the skills they have acquired.
“I believe the lives of these ladies have been transformed with the intensive training we gave them. Trainees of the Project spent first six months acquiring theoretical knowledge in Fashion and some minor elements of practicals. The second part of the training is industrial attachment with eight local Fashion Houses. The Fashion Show climaxes their industrial attachment,” he stated.
The project represents a distinctive Fashion Training Program designed to empower and mentor aspiring fashion professionals, providing them with the essential skills and resources needed for success. Several beneficiaries expressed their enthusiasm and gratitude for the opportunity.
One of the beneficiaries, Ruby Buah, said, “being part of such an initiative to make women employable is great. I am happy to be a part of it and do my bit in making sure that we have quite a percentage of women who can have a business of theirs, employ people and go ahead to train others”.
Another beneficiary, Pamela Afatsawo said “I am very excited because it has given me the opportunity to become the fashion designer I have always dreamed of”.
The Fashion Expressions Project, currently in its pilot phase in Ghana and Kenya, is dedicated to harnessing the socio-economic potential of the fashion industry as a means to advance women’s empowerment.