To boost the textile industry through influencing corporate Africa to wear and decorate African fabrics, the Think Africa Initiative, in commemoration of Nigerians Independence Day has called on corporate Africa to allow their employees to include African corporate dress code in their daily work wear.
Speaking at the House on the Rock Cathedral, Lagos, the Head, Human Capital Management, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc, Chinasa Jonathan-Ojei, said Think Africa was born in 2001, to promote the rich African heritage in the corporate world throughout Africa.
She called on corporate Africa to include the African corporate dress code in their daily work wear, and in their organisation’s arts, crafts, gifts and decor stated that clothing is an essential part of one’s identity and the textile industry is a driver of growth and employment that should be maximised.
Jonathan-Ojei said: “Think Africa is here today to remind corporate Africa that 57 years ago Nigeria became independent and became free to decide and create African corporate dress code & interiors with local accessories and fabrics such as, Adire, Aso Oke, Akwete, Ankara, Brocade and other types of African fabrics.”
“God in His magnanimity gave Africa bright and beautifully designed fabrics to distract the sun ray, and contrast with our dark skin to make us visible, and the cotton texture to absorb heat. But instead, we are stuck to the mundane coloured attires forced on us by the colonial employers,” she added.
The Think Africa Initiative aims at resurrecting the rich African heritage in the corporate world through the optimal use of African fabrics to make Smart Corporate Dress Styles as well as adorn the premises with subtle interior decorations of indigenous art works, natural endowments, and fabrics.
She continued, “Today, the employees in the NIISP wear African fabrics from Monday to Friday, and from the survey I took, it makes them very comfortable at work, easy for them to dress up, gives them free movement and helps them to think and since then, our performance have become better.”
Meanwhile, Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has assured makers of local fabric popularly called Akwa-Ocha of his administration’s support to enable them meet market demands.
The Governor gave the assurance at the graduation ceremony of the 2017 Akwa-Ocha Trainees, at the Delta State Leather Works/Shoe Factory, Issele-Uku.According to the governor, who was accompanied to the occasion by his wife, Dame Edith and top government functionaries, “it is gratifying that the demand for Akwa-Ocha has greatly increased, proving that it is economically viable.
“As a government, we shall encourage you to increase your production, we will train more persons to acquire the skill and we encourage you to train especially, the youths as it is in line with our Strategic Wealth Creation Projects and Provision of jobs for all Deltans in the SMART agenda of my administration,” the Governor said.
He assured that beside providing modern machines that will make the beneficiaries to be producing more than three Akwa-Ocha in a day instead of the number of weeks it was taking to produce one, there will be close monitoring for teething problems associated with beginners to be tackled.