GEPA Women Icons exhibition opens in Elmina
The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), in collaboration with Access Bank Ghana’s “W” initiative for women, has held an entrepreneurial exhibition in Elmina in the Central Region.
The trade fair held yesterday was the Central Regional edition of the GEPA’s Women Icons Exhibition, which brings together mostly women entrepreneurs to exhibit their goods and services.
The two-day exhibition with a wide variety of premium made-in-Ghana products manufactured by women in the Central Region showcases foods and confectionary, clothes and artifacts at the Forecourt of the Elmina Castle.
The exhibition aims to promote the culture of exports as well as the patronage of made-in-Ghana products as substitutes for imports through trade fairs and exhibitions.
In an address read for the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GEPA, Dr Asabea Asare, the Deputy CEO of GEPA, Samuel Dentu, said women’s economic empowerment remained one of the world’s most promising areas of investments, one of the biggest emerging markets and one of the largest talent pools to be tapped.
“We can never lose sight of the fact that efforts to promote women’s economic empowerment require market-based approaches,” she added.
She said many organisations worked to level the playing field for women, adding that the Women Icons was GEPA’s effort at creating awareness about products by women, providing markets for these through social media and technology and helping them to export the products.
Mr Dentu added later in an interview that good exports started from the products being known in the country of origin, saying the Women Icons was to further inspire more women into production.
The Chief Director at the Central Regional Coordinating Council, Kingsley Agyei Boahene, said women played very critical roles in economic activities and empowering them was necessary to change the total economic fortunes of the country.
He said he was certain the exhibition would catapult the participants and other women into thriving businesses.
The Municipal Chief Executive of Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem (KEEA), Solomon Ebo Appiah, said the role of women entrepreneurs in the growth and development of families, communities and nations could not be underestimated, adding that programmes such as the Women Icons would boost the confidence of local female entrepreneurs and help them network for greater heights.
The Paramount Chief of Elmina, Nana Kodwo Conduah VI, commended organisers of the initiative, saying women remained the backbone of communities and empowering them meant creating more peaceful homes and communities.
A lead exhibitor, Fanny Anku, who shared her story, said GEPA discovered her at one such exhibition and had supported her to be an exporter and encouraged exhibitors to build networks and aim at promoting their businesses to the highest level possible.