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Esther Ocloo remembered

BY: Mary Anane-Amponsah
Dr Mrs Esther Ocloo
Dr Mrs Esther Ocloo

One of Ghana’s great entrepreneurs, Dr Mrs Esther Ocloo (nee Nkulenu), the founder of Nkulenu Industries Ltd, a food processing company in Ghana, has been remembered for her role in promoting local industrialisation.

A solemn thanksgiving and memorial service held in memory of her by family and friends at her tomb site at Peki Dzake in the Volta Region was part of activities to celebrate her centenary anniversary.

It was an inspiring celebration as family and loved ones recounted the struggles, failures and achievements of a woman who decided to create employment for herself and others as well as to empower other women to work towards achieving their goals in life.

In attendance was the widower, children, family, friends and traditional leaders and workers of her company which was established in 1942.

Born on April 18, 1919, Mrs Ocloo’s centenary celebration is being marked on the theme: ‘Honouring a Legend of Her Time”.

Founder

Mrs Ocloo, an industrialist, a preservationist, an AGI Hall of Famer and a national legend was the founder and first president, Federation of Ghana Industries, now Association of Ghana Industries from 1958-1961.

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As a co-founder of Women’s World Banking from 1979 to 1985, she promoted the availability of credit to women with small loans to support their businesses and to make them economically independent.

She is acknowledged for her hard work to promote locally made products which led to her organising a locally manufactured products exhibition.

She was appointed to many public office positions, including the first Executive Chairperson of the National Food and Nutrition Board in 1963, advisor to the Council of Women and Development, a member of Ghana’s National Economic Advisory Committee (1978-1979).

Mr Stephen Ocloo laying a wreath on the tombstone

Be creative

The Assistant District Pastor of Madina EP Church, Rev. Jehoiada Godwin Amuzu, in a sermon, called on Ghanaians to be inspired by the legacies of Mrs Ocloo and be creative in whatever work they find themselves doing to stand out among others.

He noted that Mrs Ocloo had brought hope to people with humble background and a source of motivation to them that they could still become who they dreamt of if they worked harder.

He called on Ghanaians to shine wherever they found themselves and be a light to others just as Mrs Ocloo was and had become a blessing to many people.

The widower, Mr Stephen Ocloo shared some profound memories he had with his wife and how they struggled through it all to become a master in food processing.