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Sellers of local artefacts hopeful of increase in sales after airport reopeningAfrica’s emerging agripreneurs call for increased SME-to-SME cooperation

Dealers in locally made artefacts are looking forward to the government’s intervention to boost their business in these times of COVID-19.

These dealers, who heavily depend on purchases by foreigners to push their businesses say the initial closure of the airport and other borders have drastically reduced their income level.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which has crippled many businesses and left many economies at a standstill, did not leave this sector out.

The tourism industry, hospitality industry, and sale of made-in-Ghana products have recorded low patronage in the last six months. The Year of Return, which took place last year, saw an increase in the patronage of Ghanaian businesses due to the huge number of Africans from the diaspora in the country. According to the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, the initiative raked in tourism receipts amounting to US$3.3 billion; a huge boost for the country’s economy.

But the occurrence of COVID-19 only a few months after has sent everything down the drain. Some persons who sell locally made artefacts at the Osu Oxford Street told Citi Business News that the closure of the airports and borders as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus has really affected them, as most of their customers are foreigners. “I’ve been selling here for almost 15 years. We have to occasions which where we really make sales; during Christmas and the Homowo. There are more foreigners on these occasions. Because of the virus, things are not going on well. For about three months now, I haven’t even sold anything amounting to GHS100,” Abigail Lartey, a wood carvings seller decried.