Chamber of Commerce builds capacity of businesswomen

PTo reduce the rate of importation of foods and other commodities, the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industries (GNCCI) has organised a mentorship programme for women in businesses to boost their capacities in agro processing.

The mentorship programme held in Accra on Tuesday was to encourage, motivate and teach women on how to excel and make the best out of their small and medium sized agro processing businesses and that of other fields.

Nana Appiagyei Dankawoso I, the President of the GNCCI, said the country was importing commodities that its citizenry especially women could produce if they had a little support such as motivation and funds.

Such items, he said, included cooking oil, peanut butter, packed and canned foods and cosmetics.

He explained that many women were already into such private manufacturing businesses but lacked the support of the state, which served as a hindrance to their contribution to socio-economic development.

The Chamber and Exim Bank, he disclosed were therefore creating markets for the women to get buyers for their products.

Nana Dankawoso said considering entrepreneurship that was gaining roots on the continent, women did their bits to contribute to it, hence the realisation of the need for the Chamber to support them.

“As Ghana is going to host the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area, we thought of how to take advantage of the opportunities surrounding us and one was to boost the capacities of our women in businesses,” he said.

Women in business, he said, faced many challenges such as trying to secure loans, which showed how they were left behind in many things.

He, therefore, disclosed that the Chamber was also partnering the African Development Bank to support them including startups in that regard.

Nana Dankawoso explained that some women had not been to school but had the intellect and skills to run businesses such that their works were sometimes more appreciable.

All they needed was an encouragement especially to take up bold decisions including leadership roles, hence the need to join forces with such successful business women to mentor them, he said.

Ms Felicia Twumasi, the Chief Executive Officer of Home Food Processing and Cannery Limited, addressing the women as a key mentor, advised them to believe in themselves, plan ahead and be willing to make sacrifices if they wanted to excel in the business space.

“In business, you have to be spiritually strong and logical and be willing to take calculated risks. Believe in me, women, we are the best managers,” she added.

She recommended that the nation pays adequate attention to agro processing as it could help to boost the economy.

Ms Twumasi urged the women to protect their dignity and bear in mind that business was not about making money just for one’s self but creating wealth to have a positive influence on the society.

Madam Esther Cobbah, the Chief Executive Officer of Stratcomm Africa, called on the women to be prepared to use resources to bring out the best in their employees.

She said at times, business managers withheld resources and by that treated their workers unfairly which prevented them from bringing out their best. GNA

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