India inks $1 mn pact to train African craftswomenFebruary 29th, 2012 - 3:37 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS) The National Institute of Design and the external affairs ministry have inked a $1 million MoU to train and empower craftswomen in five African countries, it was announced here Wednesday.
In January, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, during a meeting in Harare with his Zimbabwean counterpart Welshman Ncube, had said that the National Institute of Design (NID) was undertaking a project for the training and exposure for craftswomen of rural Africa to empower them through design intervention in basketry making, as part of the India-Africa Forum Summit Action Plan.
An MoU on this was signed in the capital between Gurjit Singh, additional secretary in the ministry of external affairs, and Pradyumna Vyas, director of the NID, an institute statement said.
The initiative will cover five African countries over a period of three years.
“This collaboration between the ancient civilizations with rich tradition in craft skills will further strengthen the bonds between India and Africa”, the statement said.
An NID team will visit Zimbabwe to identify 25 craftswomen who would be trained in India in collaboration with New Basket Workshop Foundation, an African NGO. The project aims at women’s empowerment through skill enhancement and appropriate marketing through leading Indian brands like Fab India.
India has assured that it will assist Zimbabwe in reviving its textile sector. India will provide skills training and also help in the development of textiles clusters. The two ministers also reiterated the need for enhancing and diversifying the bilateral trade between the two countries which currently stands at $128 million.
The two ministers also agreed to convene the meeting of the Joint Trade Committee within the next six months.
Product development and diversification will be achieved through a model of collaborative workshops bringing on board basketry artisans of both Africa and India on a common platform, along with designers and design students facilitating knowledge, experience and skill sharing in the process of design intervention.
At the onset, five African countries - Zimbabwe, Malawi, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda - will be the beneficiaries.
For each of these countries, one need assessment-cum-workshop in the respective country, followed by a workshop in India and a third workshop in the respective country for 25 participants will be conducted over a period of three years.
The project will encapsulate a major brand development exercise for the entire initiative lending to a suitable design identity for the endeavour.
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