The empowerment of women to enable them to play a more meaningful role in economic activities has now taken a centre stage.
This is because the contribution of women in turning around businesses, among other things, has been identified as paramount in view of the records of successes chalked up at all levels.
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It is against this background and more that the Opportunity International (United Kingdom) held an annual stakeholders’ meeting in Accra dubbed: “Economic Empowerment of Women in Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo through rural financing.” It was supported by UK Aid Match.
A release issued in Accra yesterday said the maiden meeting was attended by all the project stakeholders, including Opportunity International UK, Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans (SASL), VisionFund – Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Esoko, Participatory Development Associates (PDA), Warehousing Consultants and Opportunity International Savings and Loans (OISL).
The objectives of the meeting, according to the release, were for participants to learn from one another’s experiences and to integrate learning into action planning.
Meanwhile, the release explained that the overall objective of ‘The Economic Empowerment of Women Project’ was to help increase the participation and empowerment of 12,000 women in the rural economies of Ghana and the DRC in order to improve productivity, build assets and increase household income.
The Chief Executive Officer of Opportunity International Savings and Loans, Mr. Kwame Owusu-Boateng, during his opening remarks commended the stakeholders for exceeding all the targets set for the first year of the project.
He said, “Institutions that have stood the test of time are those which are client-centric and also, by empowering women, we will help to create a lasting impact in our society”.
Support so far
So far, over 5,032 female smallholder farmers and agricultural business owners in Ghana and the DRC, representing 42 per cent of the total target of 12,000 have been served with loans, savings and training with total loan disbursement of over £700,000 to support their agribusinesses.
It is expected that at the end of the period, 32,000 family members will also benefit from better nutrition, health and education; 50,000 to benefit from a community-wide financial literacy and gender campaign and 10,000 jobs will be created.