The 12th edition of the International Exhibition of Crafts for Women (SAFEM) was officially launched Monday the 29th November in Niger’s capital Niamey.
This is the first time the event is taking place in a span of two years due to insecurity and the Covid-19 pandemic.
The current pandemic meant the artists couldn’t travel abroad to promote and sell their art wears and it also meant that tourists were unable to come to Niger to buy local products.
"We get to sell for customers through the internet, online sales. So there are social networks. The Covid 19, really blocked us. Tourists have not been coming here for a long time because of insecurity, we really don't have many tourists. Here, those who buy are the tourists and they have become rare," a stakeholder said.
This year’s edition has presented a rare opportunity to local designers and artists to showcase and sell their products to other stakeholders from different countries in Africa.
" it is true that the two years the designers have suffered a lot, but in fact, they made jewelry, but they couldn’t sell it. We are also obliged to begin making local products. In fact, it does not pay as we want, another stakeholder said.
The 2021 theme is "Women's entrepreneurship in the face of Covid-19 and the strategies for building resilience in the empowerment of women artisans.