GHANAIAN “CASUAL FRIDAY WEAR”
“Casual Friday” in Ghana is the one day in the week (every Friday) when public and private sector workers – and, basically, everyone can take a break from putting on European corporate wears such as ties, suits and t-shirts etc.
Instead of European corporate outfits, everyone is encouraged to put on native Ghanaian attires and outfits to work, so it should come as no surprise when one goes to a bank, for example, and sees its staffers in colourful traditional wears rather than their “usual” European corporate outfits.
This initiative was introduced into law in November, 2004 under the “National Friday Wear Programme” by Ghana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry in close collaboration with the private sector, and the aim of the programme is to encourage the production, distribution and purchase of locally made clothes in the country. Also, it is expected that it would help promote Ghanaian culture and way of life.
Prior to the establishment of the programme, the Ghanaian government observed that the textile industry in the country was fast losing its profitability as a result of the fact that most Ghanaians preferred to adorn Western second-hand clothes locally referred to in Kenya and Nigeria as “Mivumba” and “Okrika” respectively which means “fairly used”, and in Ghana as “Abruni Waawu” which means “a white man has died”.
Importing second-hand clothes from Europe and America has also had a negative toll on Ghana’s economy especially on its Textile Industry. A report from the International Trade Centre in Geneva has it that Ghana spends at least $43M every year on importation of second-hand clothes, and this alarming fact propelled the Ghanaian Government to act fast, ergo, the establishment of the National Friday Wear Programme.
This is why, in Ghana today, especially on Fridays, it is no wonder Ghanaians celebrate their pride and culture by putting on their native attires especially those made from the country’s main clothing material: the Kente!