Chamber of Commerce builds capacity of business women to reduce importation

By Eunice Hilda Ampomah, GNA

Accra, Aug.14,
GNA – To reduce the rate of importation of foods and other commodities, the
Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industries (GNCCI) on Tuesday organised
a mentorship programme for women in businesses to boost their capacities in
agro processing.

The mentorship
programme held in Accra 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

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.

“It is
important that you affect lives and when you do that, money will come. As a
business person, make sure you have integrity, when I owe you, I call before
you call me,” she said.

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.

She advised the
women to exhibit high moral standards and behaviors at their work places to
protect the image of the businesses.

“A brand is not
just the logo but the behaviours that inform the logo,” she added.