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Handicraft Corporate Catalogue launched
By NOMILE HLATSHWAYO - SWAZI TIMES-27-Nov-2009
MBABANE – The country will now be able to showcase its handicrafted products, with the launch of the Handicraft Corporate Catalogue
Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade Jabulile Mashwama officially launched the catalogue yesterday. The aim of the catalogue is to promote handicrafted items produced in Swaziland to those corporate companies, embassies, non-governmental organisations, development agencies, parastatals and government agencies seeking to purchase personalised, unique gifts for their employees, clients and partners.
This drive is an initiative by TechnoServe.
Industry players that have been roped into the project are: Rosecraft, Ngwenya Glass, Gone Rural, Tintsaba Crafts, Swazi Candles, Amarasti, Baobab Batik, Quazi Design, Imvelo Eswatini and Ekhaya Cultural Tours. Speaking during the launch, TechnoServe’s Handicrafts Consultant Gail Mawocha said the initiative came about after the realisation that there was potential to stimulate the purchase of local handcrafted products.
“The catalogue has been developed with the aim of ensuring that awareness of quality handicrafts produced in Swaziland is created and also encourage local organisations to play their part by purchasing from this catalogue. In so doing, those who support this initiative of purchasing local handicrafts ensure that people from disadvantaged communities improve their livelihoods,” she said.
Mawocha said the catalogue enabled the convenience of being able to ‘shop’ from one’s offices without having to go from Pigg’s Peak to Malkerns for good quality handicrafts. Mashwama said Swaziland’s reputation as a location for contemporary handicrafted products was growing. She added that the country was developing a reputation of being a destination where one could find unique, high quality handicrafts with a social responsibility focus.
“The country is making strides to become a hub of quality and contemporary handicrafted products. Some of the products showcased in the catalogue are already being exported to Europe, the United States of America and South Africa.
“As a ministry, I believe there is scope to promote handicrafts locally to organisations looking to present farewell gifts, promotional items and Christmas gifts to staff and clients. This handicraft catalogue, which is the first initiative of its kind locally, presents the opportunity for local players to invest in Swazi produced handicrafts instead of importing corporate gifts and promotional items,” Mashwama said. She said the catalogue came at an opportune time, when people would be looking for gifts during the festive season.
The minister outlined positive outcomes of the initiative, which include: creating awareness of handicraft products that are produced locally; promoting and stimulating the purchase of locally produced handicrafts that will in turn benefit those from disadvantaged communities to earn income; provide an opportunity for target market to buy locally and play their part in increasing economic activity amongst handicrafts; and convenience for target market to purchase from the catalogue instead of going from shop to shop in search of an appropriate gift produced in Swaziland.
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Comments:This is very progressive and exciting for handicrafts in Swaziland. Africa needs to follow this example as a means of creating employment and generating income for women in poor communities. Well done Swaziland!
From:Colleen - South Africa (29-Nov-2009)