Minister of Small Development Ms Lindiwe Zulu, was elected Second Vice-President of the Co-ordination Committee for Development and Promotion of African Handicrafts (CODEPA) at the 9th CODEPA Conference of Ministers held in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe on 21-23 June 2017. This comes after Minister Zulu announced that South Africa would become a member state of CODEPA.
Minister Zulu was invited to the CODEPA meeting to help make a contribution to the strengthening of the crafts sector in the region. The meeting provided an opportunity for South Africa to highlight its support mechanisms for SMMEs and Cooperatives in the craft sector, consider the potential of market access opportunities for local entrepreneurs, and share best practices with other countries whilst understanding their strategies.
South Africa’s decision to join CODEPA stems from the important role the handicraft sector plays in contributing to the economy and in recognition of the historical and heritage aspect of handicrafts in shaping the identity of Africans. South Africa was urged to assist the incoming president in encouraging more SADC member states to join CODEPA.
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Minister Zulu is determined to contribute to the development of the handicraft industry by giving support, providing leadership and determining the strategic direction for this important body. Zimbabwe’s Minister of SMME and Cooperative Development, Ms Sithembiso Nyoni was handed the Presidency of CODEPA during the official opening ceremony in Bulawayo. The Department of Small Business Development has led in the development and promotion of the handicrafts sector through the customised sector plan since its inception.
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