Women entrepreneurs need inspiration to accelerate development


By Samuel SAM

The need to inspire and empower more successful women entrepreneurs to drive socio-economic development was highlighted at the GNCCI-GIZ Women Conference held in Tamale under the theme ‘Making AfCFTA Work through a Deliberate Inclusion of Women Entrepreneurs’.

At the event, Hamidu Hamza Saana, the Northern Regional Director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, emphasised the importance of building women’s capacity to compete in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) market space and leverage the opportunities provided by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) protocols.

“Entrepreneurship development provides significant opportunities for generating employment, income and sustaining livelihoods, particularly for women worldwide,” he said.

Despite facing challenges such as negative social and cultural norms, lack of entrepreneurship skills, limited access to finance and inadequate entrepreneurial networks and policy frameworks, women entrepreneurs continue to make significant contributions to national development.

The workshop, organised by the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) and GIZ in collaboration with GIZ Trade Hub, aimed to enhance women entrepreneurs’ competitiveness in the ECOWAS market by providing vital information on AfCFTA opportunities and strategies for optimisation. It also addressed challenges related to production capacity, access to raw materials, packaging and machinery for women-owned businesses.

Sessions of this conference have already been conducted in Accra and Kumasi, with plans to extend to other regions.

Dr. Emelia Assiakwa, National Treasurer of GNCCI, highlighted that approximately 44 percent of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Ghana are owned by women, according to a World Bank’s 2021 report.

Ensuring that Ghanaian businesswomen and youths fully understand the opportunities and challenges presented by the AfCFTA agreement is imperative. Dr. Assiakwa expressed the GNCCI’s commitment to collaborating with all stakeholders, including the AfCFTA Secretariat, to ensure that Ghanaian businesses, regardless of gender ownership, fully benefit from AfCFTA.

“We remain unwavering in our commitment to collaborating with all stakeholders, including the AfCFTA Secretariat, to ensure that Ghanaian businesses reap the full benefits of the AfCFTA, irrespective of gender ownership,” she added.

Mad. Esther Nabire, CEO of Agape Moringa Enterprise, expressed gratitude for the capacity-building initiatives and appealed to the government and ECOWAS protocols to urgently address  issues of bureaucracy at the port hindering the export of local goods.

Leave a Reply