MONROVIA, Montserrado – A US$231,000 weaving center has been completed in Kolahun District in Lofa to enhance value within the textile industry in Liberia.
The project was initiated by former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in collaboration with the Rural Industrial Promotion Program for Economic Empowerment.
The project began in June 2016 when the Commerce Ministry announced it had acquired funding to construct the center. The funds would cover equipment and other machineries.
The project is expected to provide about 350 jobs as well as provide hands-on training for several others.
Varney Kanneh, a weaver originally from Lofa, has praised the government and its partners for the project.
Speaking to The Bush Chicken at his workshop in the New Matadi Estate in Monrovia after receiving news of the completion of the center, Kanneh expressed delight over the new center.
“The construction of the textile industry has restored our lost dignity and renewed the weavers’ hope for a better future,” he said. “We are gratified by this initiative and it has given us relief and above all renewed our hope for a better future.”
Kanneh, however, pleaded with the government to quickly furnish the facility and get it ready for business. He said he believes the center will enhance the livelihoods of users and encourage more weavers to stay in Lofa.
He expressed hope that it would minimize the importation of cotton cloths and help build the capacity of local weavers.
Meanwhile, Kanneh wants officials to appoint individuals with the appropriate skills and experience to manage the center.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah