President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the empowerment and the expansion of opportunities for women are key to achieving sustainable development and prosperity in Ghana and Africa.
He said women were central actors in national growth and so meeting the challenges of empowering them and ensuring gender equality was one of the key strategies to mitigate poverty and guarantee the progress and prosperity of our country and continent.
President Akufo-Addo was speaking at the first Gender and Development Initiative for Africa (GADIA) Advocates Charge Awards at the Flagstaff House in Accra.
The GADIA Advocates Charge (GACH) Awards are a flagship initiative established by the President, who is an African Union (AU) Gender Champion, to support sustainable gender equality and increase the participation and progress of women within the private sector.
Nine individuals, including the Guinean President and outgoing Chairperson of the African Union (AU), Prof. Alpha Conde, received awards at the ceremony.
The awards were conferred on a specific number of prominent businessmen in Africa who were charged by the President to take concrete and measurable steps within their respective companies to enhance gender equality over a particular period of time.
Noting that women were integrated into every economic sector of the country, President Akufo-Addo said the promotion of gender equality at the workplace, particularly in the private sector, was a prerequisite for socio-economic development.
He said Ghana, and for that matter Africa, could not eradicate poverty without paying attention to and addressing the needs of women.
That was why, the President said, his administration had instituted policies aimed at rapidly increasing Ghana's future prosperity and creating a value-added economy expected to create the necessary number of high-paying jobs that would improve the living standards of the people, especially women.
The government, he said, would ensure that it stimulated Ghana's private sector growth and made gender equality part and parcel of business, as women were a central part in every rapid development narrative.
President Akufo-Addo charged the awardees to ensure that they promoted gender equality in their respective corporate environments as the country and Africa worked towards inclusive growth to unleash the potential of their people.
He further urged the top echelon of corporate entities to increase their support for greater freedoms for women and their participation in decision-making, as they (women) could significantly lower Africa's myriad of growth challenges.
Eight notable business people and entrepreneurs were rewarded for promoting gender equality in their businesses. They will be required to espouse the importance of women inclusion in all aspects of national development.
They were Mr Roy Aboku, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ocelot/Investa Capital; Dr Kofi Amoah Abban, CEO of Rigworld Services Limited; Dr Zibrim Yamusah, CEO of Yamusah Group of Companies; Dr Kwabena Adjei, CEO of Kasapreko Company Limited, and Dr Yaw Adu Gyamfi, CEO of Danpong Group of Companies.
The others were Mr Osei Kwame Despite, CEO of Despite Group of Companies; Mr Albert Osei, CEO of Koko King Limited, and Mr Kwasi Twum, Founder and CEO of Multi Media Group Ltd.
President Akufo-Addo conferred on Prof. Conde the GADIA Achievement Award for demonstrating "excellence and innovation" in the pursuit of gender equality on the continent.
President Conde's award was received on his behalf by the Guinean Envoy in Ghana. GNA