The handicraft sector in Morocco employs about 20% of the workforce. However, it has not yet reached its full potential.
Rabat – Around 1,200 Moroccan artisans from across Morocco are showcasing their traditional craft products at the 6th National Handicraft Week in Marrakech.
The annual event represents a platform for artisans to meet, exchange experiences, and promote their work.
Morocco’s Minister of Tourism, Handicraft, Air Transport, and Social Economy, Nadia Fettah, paid a visit to the exhibition, on Tuesday, January 21.
During her visit, the minister discussed the handicraft sector with several exhibitors and visitors.
“This year’s event covers 10 types of Moroccan traditional crafts. The goal of the event is the exchange of experiences and creative ideas between artisans from the same sector,” Fettah told the press.
The National Handicraft Week will continue for two weeks in order to attract more visitors. The second week of the event coincides with school holidays in Morocco.
“The event will last two weeks so students can visit it during the holidays. Our goal this year is to reach 500,000 visitors,” concluded the minister.
The organizers expect the increase in visits to Marrakech, Morocco’s tourism capital, during the school holidays will bring more visibility to the event.
The General Director of the “Maison de l’Artisan,” one of the event’s organizers, Abdallah Aadnani, lauded the quality of the products presented by artisans this year.
The exhibition gives an opportunity for artisans “to present the latest trends in traditional crafts to the Moroccan public.” It also gives artisans “the opportunity to sell their products and sustain their work,” added Aadnani.
The event is organized by the Ministry of Tourism, in partnership with the “Maison de l’Artisan,” a Moroccan public institution, created in 1957, with the mission of promoting Moroccan handicrafts.
The show’s program includes several workshops for artisans, about how to market, promote, and import their products. The workshops are organized and funded by Morocco’s central bank, Bank al-Maghrib.
The exhibition started on Sunday, January 12, at the Bab Jdid Square, and is set to last until Sunday, January 26. The event covers an area of about five hectares.
US encourages Moroccan artisans
Earlier this month, the US Embassy in Rabat issued a guidebook for Moroccans on how to export their artisanal products to the US in order to benefit fully from the Morocco-US Free Trade Agreement.
The document presents an exhaustive guide on the standards and requirements of American imports.
The handicraft sector employs about 20% of Morocco’s workforce and contributes to 7% of Morocco’s GDP, revealed the publication.
There are about 2.3 million Moroccans who work in the traditional craft industry, with women making up 80% of the workers.
Opening international markets to the industry would significantly impact Morocco’s economy.