Ghana Beyond Aid …Businesses must support agenda to make it attainable

The Chief Executive Officer of Sinapi Aba Trust, Tony Gyesi Fosu, and other officials in a group picture with some beneficiaries of the Women’s Mentorship Programme

Government’s plan to make the country ‘self-reliant’ via the ‘Ghana ‘Beyond Aid’ programme can only be realised when organisations, businesses, individuals within the country contribute their quota toward it, according to Tony Gyesi Fosu, Chief Executive Officer of Sinapi Aba Trust.

He said the country cannot continually rely on handouts to develop; but if it should be able to break from it “not just as a political mantra”, it will require organisations and businesses “to support ourselves”. He observed that if there is support for each other, it will strengthen Government’s drive to ensure the country becomes self-reliant.

Mr. Fosu was speaking in an interview with B&FT during the launch of a Women’s Mentorship Programme by Sinapi Aba Trust in Kumasi, and noted that beyond the financial services it [Sinapi Aba] offers, the company continues to facilitate support for the people.

He said the company has introduced a number of programmes to help youth development in various endeavours, including youth apprenticeship programmes, skills development among others.

He particularly noted that Sinapi Aba Trust is committed to helping develop the youth’s entrepreneurial capacity, especially women, in both the urban and rural communities – which has so far benefitted over 5,000 people. These programmes, he said, go further to support the developmental efforts of various governments while also making beneficiaries self-reliant.

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He explained that the ‘Women’s Mentorship Programme’, which is being done in collaboration with the Canadian government, is meant to create the space for less experienced women in trade to be mentored by experienced women who have successfully been in business for years.

The six-month pilot programme, which is expected to benefit over 150 women selected from 12 out of the 44 branches of Sinapi Aba Trust across the country, will help to produce the next generation of women entrepreneurs for the country.

A young entrepreneur and beneficiary of the ‘Women’s Mentorship Programme’, Sarafin from Somanya, was optimistic that the platform offered will help to boost her confidence as well as position her to prioritise business activities.

She is hopeful that this will contribute to growth of her business, adding that she will look for chances to equally share knowledge gained from the programme with her peers in business.

Madam Eunice, one of the mentors for the programme, noted that its distinctiveness is that both mentees and mentors get a chance to deepen their business knowledge through the experiences which are shared.

The Chief Programmes Officer of Sinapi Aba Trust, Joyce Owusu-Dabo, said over the years the company has been involved in empowerment of women through credit, training as well as business advisory services. She said these are done to help them manage their businesses well, and also to make informed decisions about their lives.

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She noted that the ‘Women’s Mentorship Programme’ is a step further with the capacity building programmes undertaken by the company for its clientele and the public. She added that this new programme, which is hands-on, is tailored such that the beneficiaries can realise its gains as they put the knowledge acquired to work.

She explained that the programme has been designed based on feedback from some of their training programmes, that beneficiaries faced difficulties in applying the knowledge acquired. It is for this reason that the mentorship approach has been adopted to train the women.

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