Wednesday, September 8 2010
The 2010 edition of the Salon International de l'Artisanat de Ouagadougou is set for Oct. 29 to Nov. 7 in the Burkina Faso capital. Moussa Traore, managing his first edition of the event as SIAO's new executive director, sat down with Tradewinds to preview the upcoming show, which features a variety of innovations. The transcript of the interview appears below. "African handcrafts, youth and employment" is the show's theme.
SIAO is a great presentation of African handcrafts. That's to say it's an event organized by the Burkinabé. It's a beautiful event because we are talking about four huge pavilions that can hold 6,000 exhibitors that welcome more than 300,000 people and more than 3,000 professional buyers.
People come from all over the world because SIAO allows you to see all of Africa in a quarter of an hour. Every type of African handcraft is on display. The theme is African handcrafts, youth and employment, and the objective is to interest youth in the industry.
The handcrafts industry occupies a very important place in the Burkinabé economy and the African economy in general. In Burkina Faso, it constitutes 30% of GDP. More than 1 million people work in the sector -- 500,000 women.
For this SIAO, we're introducing some innovations. The first concerns the quality of the artisans exhibiting. The artisans must be of the highest quality. The main pavilions will include only the most talented artisans.
The second innovation concerns the quality of the works themselves, which will be rigorously selected in order to appear in the Hall of Creativity at SIAO.
A third innovation concerns mentoring of artisans. We've asked partners to consider sponsoring artisans, to mentor artisans rather than giving them the usual prizes. We've asked them to do a little bit more than that.
The fourth innovation concerns the event itself. We want to ensure a warm welcome to every visitor.
Another innovation concerns the protection of the environment. SIAO attracts thousands of people. We've committed this SIAO to be free of plastic sacks.