The Aya Institute for Women, Politics and Media has secured partnership with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Ghana to undertake a study to assess the potential of women-led businesses in Ghana.
The partnership which is under the GIZ Programme Support Scheme is for these businesses to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
In a release issued to the Ghana News Agency, on Tuesday, in Accra, it said the Institute was building the capacity of women who were cross- border traders and entrepreneurs in Ghana on the opportunities of AfCFTA while advocating for policy reforms that would address any institutional and structural barriers to trade.
It said the project was the Institute’s contribution to three of the Sustainable Development Goals; gender equality, decent work and economic growth and reduced inequalities for Ghanaian women in project regions.
“The Aya Institute’s team of respected academics and international trade and development experts has been working assiduously on this project since December 2021 and will be launching the research findings in April 2022.
The release said there would be series of stakeholder engagements with the Association of Ghana Industries, Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other relevant trade and development organizations.
It said the geographical focus for the project would be the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western and Northern Regions which were considered ‘trade hubs’ where over 50 per cent of women-led businesses were located.
“As part of project activities, there will be sensitization programmes on radio and television platforms to educate the public on women’s trade and development. Research findings will be presented to major stakeholders, including the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the AfCFTA secretariat and the media.”
“The International Trade Centre (ITC) estimates the proportion of informal retail trade at around 40 percent of the cross-border trade, whereby women are disproportionately active in the informal sector at approximately 70 to 80 percent.”
According to the release “a recent annual MasterCard Index of Women, placed Ghana second globally in countries with most women entrepreneurs. These statistics and others have formed the basis for this project.”
It said the Institute was of the view that building the capacity of Ghanaian businesswomen through research and training would encourage financial inclusion needed to build a robust economy and end gender poverty which has not only become continental but a global issue that countries were struggling to eliminate.
It noted that financial inclusion was crucial to eliminating gender poverty and to enable women to be active partakers of our democracy.
The Aya Institute for Women, Politics and Media is a pro-gender organisation undertaking research, training, advisory and advocacy interventions with the aim towards achieving gender equality. The Institute works in thematic and interlinked areas: Gender, Governance, Trade, Public Policy, Economic Empowerment and Media.
By Hafsa Obeng, GNA