Story By: Rahamatu-Lahi Zakaria || Sanatu Zambang
Africa Skills Hub (ASH) on Wednesday 21st April 2021 held an opening ceremony for Suhuyini food and beverage incubation program under their Women Economic and Livelihood Improvement (WELI) at their office in Tamale.
WELI, a pilot program under ASH is funded by Canada World Youth and Global affairs Canada is designed to support women who are already in the food beverage business to help them improve on their product in all aspect from preparation, packaging, marketing and also acquiring the relevant documentation under the laws of the country to do business. This program is a post Covid-19 response mechanism to support women who have been greatly impacted by the pandemic. The scheme is meant to economically empower women, make them resilient and independent.
With regards to local partners, ASH will be working with NORSAAC, BIDO and FDA. Under their partnership with NORSAAC, Mr Mohammed Okasha, a representative from NORSAAC said they will be facilitating and leading conversations in traditional and new media on unpaid care work, sexual and gender based violence, amplifying the voice of women in power, stakeholder meeting with government and duty bearers to make and implement policies that are favorable to women business led, create networking sessions and also provide internship for graduate of the Suhuyini Food and Beverage Incubation Program.
FDA will also give the women the technical assistance in getting the right label and also how to get the approval for their product that can be sold in all markets. While BIDO, another local NGO in the region will also help ASH in amplifying the voice of women in the region, youth employment, build their capacity on gender, sexual health and reproductive rights and responsibilities and food and nutrition.
Madam Anatu Ben-Lawal the program director for WELI spoke on the program readiness to unlock the innovation in girls and make women the ambassadors of change. The program she says is also about changing the single narrative in the north, thus the violence. With this initiative the women will be able to tell the many stories of the north through their products.
Madam Afishata Mohammed Abujaja who is an SGBV consultant and also lecturer at the University for Development Studies spoke on the issues in our society that promote the marginalization of women. To address these challenges, Madam Abujaja asked for the need for organizations to understand the background information of these cultural practices before they try to make any change. Madam Abujaja who will be part of the trainers, spend her time in role modeling girls, challenging them to take up mathematics’ and science seriously and also facilitating in building senior high school in Sawla.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the event, the executive director of ASH, Mr. Daniel Antwi, said ASH is a youth employment accelerator and business incubator that aims at building Africa’s next generational change agents through practical and accessible learning and coaching tools, delivered online and offline using our Career Pathways Module. The Career Pathways Module (CPM) comprises Digital Skills, Leadership Skills and Entrepreneurial Skills. The organization operates in three regions of Ghana that include the Greater Accra Region, Northern Region and Western Region. They work in six thematic areas which are women economic empowerment, work readiness, access to capital for entrepreneurs, outreach engagement and campaigns and access to market for entrepreneurs.