Ghana Exim Bank has unvieled a new partnership with the Samira Empowerment & Humanitarian Projects called the “Shea Empowerment Project (SEI).”
According to the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana EXIM Bank, Lawrence Agyinsam, the Shea industry as part of the government’s 1D1F project was realized to have challenges in terms of processing.
“When we took over management of Exim Bank in 2017, we recognized that the Shea industry employs over one million women who dwell on their earnings to feed their families, however, we identified that there were challenges in collecting and processing the Shea,” Mr. Agyinsam said.
The partnership was launched during a stakeholders’ meeting at the Ghana Exim Bank’s Corporate Head Office, EXPORT TRADE HOUSE in Accra on Monday. The initiative seeks to provide financial support as well as practical capacity training schemes to the key operators in Shea in order to quicken the development of rural economies of Ghana.
“We hope to train 400 women in Shea Processing in Four (4) Districts in the Northern regions( Walewale and others), as well as provide safety tools to 1,200 Shea Collectors in the Northern Sector for safe Shea collection, since we are aware of the numerous snake bites these collectors have encountered over the years. Again, we intend to provide four (4) furnished Shea Processing Centers in the four districts and also provide capacity building and financing for final processors (Shea Cosmetic Producers),” Mr. Lawrence Agyinsam elaborated.
The CEO of Exim Bank Ghana further mentioned that the Bank sought for approval of Ghc10 million from its board to invest in the Shea industry. Owing to the full potential the Shea industry has globally, he added that the project will be a catalyst for wealth creation.
Benefits of the project
EXIM in partnership with the Samira Empowerment & Humanitarian Projects looks forward to ensuring the following benefits under this Project:
For the Shea Collectors:
➢1,200 women will be grouped and trained in four (4) districts;
➢These women will among other things, receive a hunters lamp, safety boots, gloves, 600 snake vaccines (which have been already purchased and will go to four (4) District hospitals), five (5) tricycles and fifteen (15) drying platforms.
With the Aid for the Shea Processors;
➢Four (4) equipped Processing Centers will be provided in four (4) districts;
➢These women will also among other things, receive training, working capital and each Centre will receive five (5) to aid in shea collection.
Further, Thirteen (13) Shea-Butter-based Product Manufacturer will be competitively selected to receive the following support:
➢Working capital to buy shea from one of the four (4) Processing Centers for business expansion; and
➢Funding to participate in International Trade Fairs.
➢1,600 women will receive training to build capacity and enhance skill;
➢Employment and economic empowerment will be provided to a total of 1,600 women;
➢Four (4) equipped Shea Processing Centers will be provided that will employ a minimum of 800 women.
By Nana Owusuaa Osei-Kuffour