This sector employs about 12% of the labour force and can be subdivided into formal and informal sub-sectors.
There are two non-functioning factories for the canning of meat at Dulugu as well as a rice mill at Kumbosigo. Efforts are underway to revamp these factories through private sector participation.
This can also be classified into two; light industries and traditional handicrafts.
This is made up of metal fabrication and repairs, auto-mechanical works, painting, electrical works etc. They are mostly small scale in nature, and employ less than five people.
These light industries, operated by individual artisans have workshops scattered all over the Bolgatanga Township, which have created aesthetic and land ownership problems. The Assembly is indeed making efforts to re-settle these artisans.
The handicraft industry in straw baskets and hats, leather tanning, leather bags and hats, smock weaving etc. have done more than any other economic activity to put Bolgatanga name on the world tourist map.
To all intents and purposes, it is the most important single source of cash earnings for the people of the settlements near Bolgatanga such as Zaare, Dulugu, Sumbrungu, Zorbisi, Zuarungu, Kalbeo and Nyariga. Most of the straw and leather products are either exported to other parts of the country or abroad particularly Western Europe.
Productivity in the straw and leather works appears to be higher than in compound farming but most people tend to engage in them only during the dry season. Another problem that hinders the industry is the ever-dwindling supply of local straw, which can be traced mainly to bushfire and long dry season. Consequently straw has to be imported from the South making the cost of production higher.
There have been several interventions in the form of micro-credit financing in the handicraft industry by Non-Governmental Organizations, such as the Star of Hope International of Sweden in the past five years.
Trading accounts for about 19% of the work force. Most retail activities take place during the 3-day cycle markets. The major market in terms of sizes and patronage is Bolgatanga. The Bolgatanga market serves other districts of the region and even beyond. Most of the standard commercial store accommodations in the Bolgatanga Township are owned by the Assembly, the facilities found outside the township markets are also owned by the Assembly.
The rate of increase in the stock of commercial accommodation is very low, and this has negatively affected expansion in trading and service activities, since some would be investors are more or less forced to re-locate their businesses elsewhere. Given the long distance between Bolgatanga and the major commercial centres of Accra, Tema, Kumasi and Takoradi prices of manufactured goods tend to be very high. However, the flow of goods has improved since 1997 with the completion of the Kintampo-Paga trunk road.
A significant proportion of the working population is engaged in the provision of services such as dressmaking, hairdressing, watch repairs, shoe making and shoe shinning. The Bolgatanga Township is full of dressmakers and hairdressers who are mainly women.
Date Created : 11/24/2017 1:37:40 AM