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Textile firms warned against printing kente designs without copyright

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Agotime-Ziope constituency in the Volta Region Charles Agbeve has cautioned firms in textile productions to take copyright permission from indigenous weavers of Kente before printing out similar materials unto the market.

According to the MP, it takes local Kente weavers a lot of critical thinking, creativity, innovation, time, stress and money to come out with  “original woven Kente” therefore, their works need to be prioritized and patronized to enable them to sustain the business.

Kente, according to the Volta Regional Museum is “woven in narrow strips that can be sewn together to make a large cloth and it is worn by Chiefs and people on special occasions to show their status and wealth”.

It further says that “the complex designs show the skills of the weaver and each design has a particular name and meaning” and it is made out of cotton.

Over the years, textile industries mostly foreign industries have taken advantage of Kente designs, colours, printing them out unto the market on cheap prices without copyright permission from its roots.

This according to the MP, is destroying the local industry hence the need for the textile firms to seek permission.

Charles Agbeve who is also a ranking Member of Parliament’s Health Committee said this at Kpetoe during the annual Kente festival of the chiefs and people of Agotime traditional area over the weekend. He praised weavers of the cloth and urged everyone to patronize the original woven materials.

The Nor (Paramount Chief) of the Agotime traditional area, Nene Nuer Keteku III in his speech during the durbar asked the government through the Ghana Tourism Authority and the Volta Regional Minister to “adopt Kente festival as a national celebration for us to reap its tourism potential as a country.”

He further appealed to the government and the Agotime-Ziope District Assembly to accelerate the construction of the Kente Village, which has stopped.

The project when completed will have an exhibition, store, and weaving spaces including offices for tourists’ management.

In Ghana, people of Agotime area in the Volta region are popularly known as indigenous weavers of Kente and this year’s festival was on the theme “Attitudinal change; the panacea for our future development.”

The Kente cloth also serves as a unique identity for Ghana and can be seen in both private and public institutions, such as the Parliament house, Courtrooms, Jubilee House and among others. It is also used in many international activities including Marvel Studios’ 2018 “Black Panther” movie.

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