Artisan crafts set for major export and national sales expansion

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PEPZ announces roadmap for business expansion

 

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – Tuesday 27 March 2018
A forum was held today to launch an integrated programme to promote the sales of Zambian crafts both within the Zambian tourism sector and through links to export markets.

Having identified notable skills within the handicraft sector and a significant opportunity for developing sales both within Zambia and beyond, The Private Enterprise Programme Zambia (PEPZ) commissioned research conducted by an international expert with extensive experience in Africa, Bellezza Global Consulting (www.bellezzaglobalconsult.com), who visited producers in five provinces in early 2018.

Based on this research, and with the cooperation of the National Arts Council and the National Museums Board, PEPZ today outlined its strategy for building sales especially through the tourism sector within Zambia and export markets in USA, Europe and beyond.

As the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Arts, Rev Dr Howard Sikwela, remarked, “For a long time, local tourism products and attractions have largely been in the area of wildlife and natural resources.  This should completely change by developing and promoting other features in the tourism sector such as the handicrafts industry.

During the forum a cooperation agreement was signed between The National Museums Board, the National Arts Council and PEPZ who will be working together to support and promote this venture.  the agreement was signed by Flexon Misinga (Director, National Museums Council), Mr Maanka Chipindi (Director, National Arts Council) and Mr James Blewett (Team Leader, PEPZ).

Implementation of the project will start immediately after the Easter break, and will initially focus on baskets and wooden artefacts.  However, the plan is to expand the scope over the coming months to include a wider range of products.

PEPZ’s Tourism and Hospitality Manager, Namaya Mbikusita-Lewanika commented, “We are delighted to announce that the project includes bringing in experienced designers from target markets to work alongside local artisans, to fine-tune their products to maximise their appeal to overseas customers whilst preserving local Zambian traditions.  We are also inviting key wholesale buyers from the world market.  The resulting trade will allow our local craftsmen and women to build successful businesses based on Zambia’s traditional crafts like basket-making and wood carving”.

It is anticipated that this project will deliver significant and long-term sales and will yield a positive impact for thousands of artisans and crafts people within Zambia through enhanced sales and profitability.

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