Women lack financial stability to compete with men in fishing sector

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Madam Kate Ansah, the National Fisheries Association of Ghana (NAFAG) Secretary, has said that women are not able to compete with men at the top of the fishing sector because they lack financial stability.  

catfishMadam Ansah, who is also the Director of Rockpoint Company Limited, said the lack of financial support also makes it difficult for young women to venture into investing in the fisheries sector.

She said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on International Women’s Day.

“The women are not financially stable, and the banks do not support most of these ventures because they think that there is a risk factor. They, therefore, wait for you to do well before they come to assist you; therefore, starting whatever you want on your own is very difficult because it’s capital intensive,” she added.

According to her, the operational costs of fishing itself were very high because premix oil, gear, and other needed logistics were all expensive.

She said there are few women in the industry, indicating that most of them were importers of fish, adding that when it comes to the trawler and canoe side, they hardly venture into it as they do not have the financial strength to sustain such a business.

She said women are hard workers, therefore, the need to push them by providing the needed financial support for them to succeed in the sector, adding however that unfortunately, government start-up programmes were not geared towards the fisheries industry.

The NAFAG secretary indicated that even though some non-governmental organisations sometimes support women, it was not as big as they needed.

She said most of the women’s groupings in the industry, such as the National Fish Processors and Traders Association, only engage in advocacy activities instead of providing financial support.

“I will urge the government, through the fisheries ministry, to continue to support women in the industry. They do a lot for the women in the industry, but we want financial support, and the government must be committed to it because most often the commitments and funding are from USAID and other agencies,” she said.

Giving a brief about her journey in the fishing industry as a woman, she told the GNA that she worked as a salesgirl as well as a data entry clerk at Pioneer Tuna and a branch manager for Continental Christian Trades (CCT).

She has held positions including public relations officer for the Ghana Industrial Trawlers Association, among others.

Madam Ansah said that as a leader in the fisheries sector, she has impacted so many lives by empowering them into entrepreneurship, supporting women with capital to start businesses, and encouraging and mentoring them on the way to success.

She said she also guides them and directs them to the right institutions to get help when needed, adding that as a pastor’s wife, she also organises educational programmes for both girls and boys.

By Laudia Sawer, GNA

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