First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo has supported 20 female street hawkers in the Greater Accra Region with business tools and a total amount of GHc15,000 to improve their livelihood.
The beneficiaries, comprising pure water sellers, plantain chips and pastries sellers, were part of about 100 women from selected markets and street vending points, hosted at a meeting on Monday as part of activities marking this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD).
The gathering discussed challenges faced by the women in their businesses and sought to find solutions to them to ease their plight.
It also schooled the women on keeping healthy lifestyles, and ensuring a safe environment for themselves and their dependants, especially children, as they went about their duties.
Mrs Akufo-Addo in a statement acknowledged the key role market women played in advancing economic growth, urging them not to rest on their oars as the government took steps to improve the business environment.
She reiterated her foundation’s commitment to promote right conditions for women and children to thrive in the country, mentioning the newly constructed mother and baby unit of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) and the new Paediatric Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) as interventions in that regard.
Touching on the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), the First Lady promised to do all within her might to ensure the timely release of funds to cushion market women while working with authorities to give the various markets the needed facelift.
“We have started releasing the monies and we will make sure we consider everyone. Just exercise patience with us, will deliver on every promise we have made,” she stated.
Lawyer and Social Worker, Ms Marian Mensah at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), entreated the women to look out for children wandering on the streets and engaged in illicit activities.
“If you see children wandering in the markets when they are supposed to be in school, report them to the nearest social welfare unit so they are picked up. Let us not allow children sell in the markets. Let us be committed to protecting children whether they are ours or not,” she pleaded.
A medical practitioner, Dr Martha Naa Shormey Nortey, observed the surge in hypertension and diabetes diseases in the country and urged the women to have regular checkups to prevent unwanted health complications.
She also advised against the use of unorthodox medicines in treating such conditions.
Some beneficiaries expressed gratitude to the First Lady for the kind gesture and pledged their support to the government to achieve its vision of a Ghana beyond aid.
By Abigail Annoh