The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) has launched a USD3.5million social media platform for women entrepreneurs to help them expand their businesses.
Dubbed: “50 million women speak project,” it was initiated by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and sponsored by the African Development Bank (AfDB). Mrs Cynthia Mamle Morrison, the Gender Minister, who launched the project called for cooperation and support from team Ghana to ensure the success of the programme.
The Gender Minister urged the entrepreneurs to embrace the skills and professionalism on board as they would improve upon their income. She explained that the platform would build a formidable force that would allow coaching as well as enable participants share their experiences.
Mrs Morrison said government’s commitment to the implementation of the project was a manifestation of its effort in empowering women. She commended the AfDB for helping bridge the gender gap as it aimed at creating a technological platform that would improve access to information and also help partner their colleagues.
This, she said, would go a long way to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Five (achieve gender equality by empowering women and girls). She praised ECOWAS for the initiative, adding that it would foster networking, self-actualisation and stakeholders to embrace and help sustain it.
Mrs Salimatu Thiam, who spoke for the President of the ECOWAS Gender Development Centre, said Ghana’s implementation to the project was a significant commitment to the sub-region as President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had already showed commitment towards the project.
That, she said, was a proof of importance attached to the Gender Ministry as it was fighting for the advancement of gender and especially, women in Ghana. Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said the platform would bring together 50 million women entrepreneurs through Information Communication Technology (ICT) to empower them in sharing information whether financial or non-financial.
The Minister, whose speech was read on her behalf, said much could not be achieved in empowering women economically as individuals but at the regional level, where best practices in business and any other thing related to entrepreneurship would be shared, needed to be encouraged.
Ghana is the 13th Country to have signed on to the project and with the exception of The Gambia and Guinea Bissau, all the West African Countries have signed on the project. The two-year project, expected to end by June 2020, is targeted at 50 million business women across the continent with a total of USD12.5million.
The launch brought together representatives from the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, entrepreneurs, Beauticians and Hairdressers Association, Market Queens, Association of Ghana Industry, among others.
Madam Mercy Naa Aprowa Needjan, President of the Market Queens Association, Greater Accra, said the programme was laudable because it would improve their businesses as women were left behind in terms of ICT.