Shri Anand Sharma, Commerce, Industries and Textiles Minister announced that the National Institute of Design (NID) India is undertaking a project for training and exposure to craftswomen of rural Africa to empower them through design intervention in basketry making, as part of the India-Africa Forum Summit Action Plan. The announcement came during his meeting with Prof. Welshman Ncube, Ministry of Industry & Commerce of Zimbabwe at Harare yesterday. The initiative will cover five African countries at a cost of US $ one million 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", said Shri Sharma.
The project will be launched in Zimbabwe in February 2012 with the team from NID visiting Zimbabwe for identification of 25 craftswomen, who would be later trained in India, in collaboration with New Basket Workshop Foundation, an African NGO. The project aims at women empowerment through skill enhancement and appropriate marketing through leading Indian brands like Fab-India.
The Indian Minister assured that India 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 stood at US $ 128 million. The two Ministers also agreed to convene the meeting of the Joint Trade Committee within the next six months.