The Coca-Cola Foundation has supported Network of Women in Growth (NEWIG), a non-profit organisation, with US$200,000. The investment, which is under a project dubbed Economic Inclusion of Marginalised Women Living in Urban Centres, seeks to provide business training to deprived women, including those with disabilities, in Ghana’s urban areas.
The two-year project aims to select, train and support 300 women from communities of need in Accra, Sekondi-Takoradi, Kumasi and Tamale in three trades – mushroom farming, snail farming and soap making.
It will also empower and train 2,500 others to start their own businesses by equipping them with relevant business management skills such as customer service, record keeping, time management, product packaging and entrepreneurship, as well as raising awareness about gender and the role of the informal sector in socio-economic development.
Speaking during the project’s launch in Accra, Board Chair of Network of Women in Growth (NEWIG), Adwoa Bame, stated that the effort is consistent with NEWIG’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5, which emphasises gender equality.
“This project, generously supported by The Coca-Cola Foundation, underscores NEWIG’s willingness to commit to the Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG 5), which is focused on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. Over the years, this mandate has been carried out through various forms of training, workshops and advocacy programmes.”
According to Madam Bame, her outfit has seen considerable growth in support for women’s empowerment programmes in recent years; but countless other women have been left behind, with no opportunity to achieve a sustainable life and economic freedom.
She commended the President of the Coca-Cola Foundation for prioritising this cause, urging sustained dedication to make economic inclusion a tangible reality for all women.
“I want to encourage us to remain steadfast in our commitment to breaking down barriers, promoting gender equality and promoting an environment where every woman can reach her full potential,” she added.
In a speech, the Executive Director of Salt and Light Ministries, Dr. Joyce R. Aryee, stated: “I firmly believe in the power of empowering the next generation of female leaders. Through various mentorship programmes, I have had the privilege of witnessing young women overcome obstacles and pursue careers in fields that were traditionally dominated by men”.
According to her, the project aims to economically empower and change lives, dismantle barriers and build a society in which every woman can thrive. She adds that the economic inclusion project embodies the essence of the change we want to see in the world, which begins with providing tangible opportunities and skills that empower women to shape their own destinies.
Executive Director of the Network of Women in Growth (NEWIG), Mawulawoe Awity, highlighted that during the last 22 years, NEWIG has mobilised resources to provide skills training for Ghanaian women, resulting in 7,000 jobs and community impact.
“Over the past 22 years, NEWIG has diligently mobilised resources through its partners to provide skills training for thousands of Ghanaian women in both vocational and professional domains. This collective effort has resulted in the creation of jobs for 7,000 women and has positively impacted various communities across Ghana.”
“As we continue to witness the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, shifting weather patterns, and extreme weather events – particularly on the Ghanaian woman – it has become increasingly evident that we must not only adapt, but also innovate in the face of adversity,” she added.