The minister of Youth, Sport and Culture, Gladys Kokorwe, officially opened the national basket and craft exhibition of 2008 at the National Museum on Friday.
“Botswana craft producers are regarded highly in the production of such crafts as baskets, pottery and crafts, which are, coincidentally, considered the best in the world,” said Kokorwe.
Kokorwe was happy to inform the attendants that locally produced industrial goods such as artworks and basketry are being promoted at an impressive level.
The event was held in a bid by government to constantly appraise and reinforce a sense of national unity and pride amongst the Batswana crafters.
She said that although this might be the case, they are still in need of support from different organizations for their art heritage.
Attending were different ministers from different sections, members of the diplomatic corps and international organizations, heads of private sector companies, parastatals and non governmental organizations.
This annual event was chosen to take place during the national heritage month of July and will end in a prize giving ceremony graced by the President of Botswana, Ian Khama, on the 22nd of this month.
Kokorwe called on all those who are already involved in the art and craft business to continuously improve productivity and the standards of their wares to meet the competition for both the local and international markets.
“Government is dedicated to diversification of basketry and craft exposure as it has proven over time to be profitable for the Batswana,” lamented Kokorwe.
The hall was decorated by works from mostly Botswana women who form a large sector of the basketry and craft exhibition.
Different types of works such as wall hangers, pottery baskets, traditional collector s dolls, bracelets and necklaces, women’s traditional attires, hand carved animal statues amongst others impressed the packed hall.
The minister encouraged the departments within the museum to implement education and museum co-operation between our country and other countries. She also says that collaborations and continuous future participation at foreign art and crafts fairs such as the world famous Santa Fe International folk market and some in our region are being conducted.
The event was also sponsored by Botswana Development Corporation Limited (BDCL).The event is also a sales exhibition show but sales will start commencing from Saturday morning.