By Maxwell Ofori
The Ghana Exim Bank, in collaboration Samira Empowerment & Humanitarian Projects have moved to economically empower women who engage in Shea business in the Northern Regions of Ghana, through an initiative called ‘Shea Empowerment Project.’
The initiative also seeks to provide, aside of financial support, practical capacity training schemes to the key operators, in order quicken the development of rural economies of Ghana.
A ceremony was held yesterday in Accra to collate relevant views, opinions and suggestions on how to support the development of the Shea industry.
In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer for GEXIM, Mr Lawrence Agyinsam, told stakeholders that the Shea Empowerment Initiative (SEI) will cover four Districts and three Value-Chain Actors.
“It seeks to train 400 women in four districts in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions in two phases; provide safety tools to 1,200 Shea collectors in the Northern sector for safe Shea collection; provide four furnished Shea processing centers in the four districts and also provide capacity building and financing for final processors (Shea Cosmetic Producers),” the CEO listed the objectives of the project.
With the Shea collectors, he said 1,200 women will be grouped and trained in four districts.
He further said the women will, among other things, receive a hunter’s lamp, safety boots,
gloves, 600 snake vaccines, five tricycles and fifteen drying platforms.
According to the CEO, with the Aid for the Shea processors; four equipped processing centers
will be provided in four districts, the women will also receive training, workshop capital and
each center will have tricycles to aid Shea collection.
As part of the project, thirteen Shea-butter-based product manufacturers would be competitively
selected to receive working capital to buy Shea from one of the four processing centers, thereby
ensuring business expansion.
The GEXIM partnership, with the Samira Empowerment & Humanitarian Projects look forward
to train 1,600 women to “build capacity and enhance skill and this will create 1,600 jobs for the
“The initiative will increase value-addition of Shea and increase export of Shea butter and this project will be a catalyst for wealth creation,” the CEO asserted.