The Role of Digital Technologies in the Ghanaian Traditional Crafts Industry: Opportunities, Challenges, and the Road Ahead
Digital technologies are reshaping every aspect of our lives and, by extension, the way indigenous craftsmen operate, promote their handicrafts, and engage with their customers. This research succinctly analysed the impact some digital technologies are having on the production and marketing of indigenous crafts in Ghana. Using a qualitative research paradigm with a descriptive study approach the study revealed the extensive presence of digital technologies, predominantly internet-oriented communication technologies within the indigenous crafts industry, thus craftsmen in the various craft communities are leveraging these technologies for ideas, inspiration, marketing and sales of their handicrafts. Although other digital technologies associated with manual productivity were identified such as power tools and a host of similar operating interventions, there were significant revelations of cultural complexities against the backdrop of rapid technological developments driving the commodification of crafts produced indigenously. The study concluded that as the acceptance of digital technologies in the indigenous crafts industry has been identified to present significant positive ramifications on local artisanal production as well as sales and marketing, the study therefore elicits extensive review of educational interventions geared towards equipping indigenous artisans with the requisite digital proficiencies to propel their practice towards sustainable development.