The Aya Institute for Women, Politics and Media has secured partnership with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Ghana, under its Programme Support Scheme to undertake a study to assess the potential of women-led businesses in the country to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The Institute is building the capacity of women who are cross-border traders and entrepreneurs in Ghana for the opportunities of AfCFTA, while advocating for policy reforms that will address all institutional and structural barriers to trade. The project is the Institute’s contribution to three of the Sustainable Development Goals – gender equality, decent work & economic growth, and reduced inequalities for Ghanaian women in project regions.
The International Trade Centre (ITC) estimates the proportion of informal retail trade is around 40 percent of the cross-border trade, wherein women are disproportionately active in the informal sector (approximately 70 to 80 percent); meanwhile, a recent annual MasterCard Index of Women placed Ghana second globally for countries with most women entrepreneurs.
These statistics and others have formed the basis for this project. Aya Institute is of the view that building the capacity of Ghanaian businesswomen through research and training will encourage the financial inclusion needed to build a robust economy and end gender poverty – which is not only a continental but global issue every country is struggling to eliminate. Financial inclusion is crucial to eliminating gender poverty and enabling women to be active partakers of our democracy.
The Aya Institute’s team of respected academics and international trade and development experts has been working assiduously on this project since December 2021, and will be launching the research findings in April 2022. There will be series of stakeholder engagements with the Association of Ghana Industries, Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other relevant trade and development organisations.
The geographical focus for this project will be the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western and Northern Regions, which are considered ‘trade hubs’ where over fifty (50) percent of women-led businesses are located.
As part of project activities, there will be sensitisation programmes on radio and television platforms to educate the public on women’s trade and development. Research findings will be presented to major stakeholders including the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the AfCFTA secretariat and the media.
The Aya Institute for Women, Politics and Media is an organisation undertaking research, training, advisory and advocacy interventions with the aim of achieving gender-equality. The Institute works in thematic and interlinked areas: Gender, Governance, Trade, Public Policy, Economic Empowerment and Media.
The institute is run by renowned researchers, passionate gender advocates, seasoned public policy experts and professionals with experience in working directly with women. The Institute’s recent work explored baseline studies on women’s numeric representation in key positions in five sectors of Ghana. Aya Institute’s focus is research to influence policies on women to promote gender-equality in all sectors of our national development.