OLAM celebrates women, girls in science
A Licensed Buying Company (LBC) in Ghana's cocoa sector and one of the lead exporters of cashew in the industry, Olam Food Ingredients Ghana Limited (ofi), has commemorated this year's UN International Day of Women & Girls in Science with students & farmers in its supply chain at Tepa in the Ashanti Region.
Held at Tepa Senior High School, this year’s celebration was on the theme: Bringing Everyone Forward for Sustainable and Equitable Development, to recognize the role of women and girls in science, not only as beneficiaries but also as agents of change.
The event brought together about 500 participants, including farmers in ofi’s supplier network in Tepa, children of farmers pursuing courses and careers in science, science students from both Tepa and Maban Senior High Schools, selected managers within the business as well as ofi’s female network group, GROW (Globally Reaching Olam Women).
The Country Head of ofi, Mr. Eric Asare Botwe, said ‘currently the female scientist population in ofi has grown tremendously.
Women in Science
“We have 14 female scientists working in our factory and over 40 female employees with science backgrounds in the sustainability business. I am optimistic that the numbers will increase not only in ofi but in all businesses spread across the country. He continued, "ofi encourages women scientists in our business to reach their full potential and find mentorship and growth opportunities both within and outside the company. Olam Cocoa Processing (OCP) has partnered with Kumasi Technical University and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology to allow their students have internship programmes with us to provide the needed practice and training to the theories they learn at school.
Speaking at the event, a senior Lecturer at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Dr. Mrs. Augustina Sylverken, said, ‘there is a need to harness all talent to tackle the challenges facing the country and the global community. The full participation of women and girls in science, mathematics, and technology is essential; hence women and girls need to break all barriers to be part of the change agents in society’.
Other speakers at the event included Nana Amoateng Tuffour, Tepa Ankobeahene who represented the Tepa Manhene, Nana Adjeiwaa Paamu, Tepa Manhemaaa, and Celestina Amoa- Menyah, ofi's Regional Quality Head for Africa, who called for a more practical approach for the teaching and learning of science.
The resource persons shared their experiences and encouraged participants to connect mentors to their children and for the students to find mentors in their areas of specialisation to help them in their chosen science fields.
ofi gave all 200 participating students branded t-shirts, notepads, pens, and sanitary pads.