Unilever Ghana, in collaboration with ProNet North, has launched a livelihood empowerment project in the Upper West Region to develop entrepreneurial skills of women to assist them become financially independent.
The women, selected from rural communities within the Wa municipality and three other districts in the region, were trained in bookkeeping, financial management and principles of savings under an Indian ‘Shakti’ business model.
Shakti started in Unilever India in 2001 to create livelihood opportunities for underprivileged rural women.
It has so far been reported to have provided over 80,000 micro-entrepreneur job opportunities in that country.
The launch of the Shakti project in the Upper West Region last Tuesday paved the way for women who signed onto the programme to receive assorted Unilever products on credit and sell.
They are allowed to keep the profit and restock from the capital regenerated.
The Managing Director of Unilever Ghana, Ms Gladys Amoah said at the launch that, “This initiative responds to the objectives of the Unilever sustainable living plan which promotes the enhancement of livelihoods of millions of people across the globe”.
“Empowering women economically has been one of the platforms adopted for advancing this cause,” she added.
She encouraged the women to stay focused and work with determination to achieve the objectives to better their economic lives and help bring health solutions that met every day needs of consumers.
Assorted Unilever products including salt, soaps, assorted Lipton tea bags and toothpastes were presented to the women to start their own micro entrepreneurial operations.
The Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, Mr Amidu Issahaku Chinnia, commended Unilever for the initiative and quoted a recent survey report by the Ghana Statistics Service that pegged unemployment rate in the region at 18.4 per cent.
Therefore, he said in order to build a prosperous region, there was the need to start from women at the family level, saying "When we invest in women, we are certainly going to reduce poverty in the country".
The Wa Municipal Chief Executive, Alhaji Issahaku Tahiru Moomin, thanked the Unilever Foundation for assisting the country’s policy objective of reducing poverty and creating prosperity for the people. — GNA