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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05DJIBOUTI1237
2005-12-18 13:24:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Djibouti
Cable title:  

EMBASSY HOSTS DJIBOUTIAN ARTS AND CRAFTS EXHIBITION

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  SCUL  EAID  ETRD  DJ 
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						UNCLAS DJIBOUTI 001237 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF/E AND AF/PD
NSC FOR AFRICA DIRECTOR MARK SWAYNE
STATE ALSO PASS USAID
NAIROBI FOR REDSO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV SCUL EAID ETRD DJ
SUBJECT: EMBASSY HOSTS DJIBOUTIAN ARTS AND CRAFTS EXHIBITION




1. (U) Ambassador launched December 4 at Djibouti's Palais du
Peuple the Embassy's second Arts and Crafts Exhibition and
Sale in two years for Djiboutian handicrafts and art works.
The five-day exhibition featured works and wares of 22
artisan associations in Djibouti, attracted a host of viewers
and buyers and generated USD 8,700 in sales to these
associations.



2. (U) In her speech inaugurating the event, the Ambassador
conveyed the pride she felt in having the opportunity to
bring wider exposure to local artisan communities and to
deepen the U.S. Embassy's partnership with artisan
associations in Djibouti. She told the audience of invited
guests that the U.S. Ambassador's Self-Help Program is U.S.
Government-funded and designed to support small projects and
programs to assist grassroots organizations and local
individuals. She added that one of the most important goals
of the Embassy is to promote traditional handicrafts of
Djibouti while encouraging prosperity for its people. The
Ambassador expressed hope that the exhibition would lead to
new and innovative ways to share talents and identify markets
for Djibouti's handicrafts.



3. (U) Minister of Women's Affairs, Aicha Mohamed Robleh,
said Djiboutian artisans are very closely attached to the
traditional culture of their country. She asked friendly
countries to help female artisans in production of their
work. This will lead, the Minister said, to higher quality
of the Djiboutian product, training, supervision and
standardization of work so that the label "Made in Djibouti"
will be more competitive in the marketplace. The Minister
expressed the desire to see space created for handicrafts in
all areas frequented by tourists to Djibouti. She underlined
that technical assistance would be indispensable to
reinvigorate and inspire women artisans and enhance their
economic and cultural role in society.



4. (U) The Embassy advertised extensively in support of the
exhibition, placing flyers at various business establishments
in Djibouti city, distributing flyers to NGOs, embassies and
consulates in Djibouti and placing banners announcing the
event over major streets in town and at the Palais du Peuple.
The Embassy also prepared 30 second commercial segments
after each local news broadcast on Djiboutian television.
The spots were run in four languages. Two women
parliamentarians, who are also presidents of two artisan
associations, encouraged the President of the National
Assembly and fellow assembly members to support the artisans.
Minister of Women's Affairs Robleh told Embassy's Self-Help
Coordinator that she had noted the planned exhibition and
sale during the President's weekly ministerial meeting.



5. (U) Feedback from participating associations and attendees
for this event was overwhelmingly positive. The associations
were pleased at the volume of sales, commenting that never
before had so many local artists and artisans brought
together in an exhibition sold items of such volume. The
most successful seller among associations was the Semiramis
Group, whose wares include utilitarian and decorative items
such as colorful Somali-weave baskets and containers.



6. (U) Comment: The success of the exhibition highlighted the
need to create a permanent place where Djiboutian handicrafts
could be produced, marketed and sold. The Minister of
Commerce, who did not attend the opening, subsequently
invited the artisans to join him in discussion of a possible
artisan village in Djibouti. End comment.
RAGSDALE