Women Icons: GEPA honours Theresa Poku for creating jobs through pineapple business

By Lord Kweku Sekyi
Business & Finance Women Icons: GEPA honours Theresa Poku for creating jobs through pineapple business

The Managing Director of OHU Farms, Theresa Poku, has been honoured at the GEPA Women Icons Regional Exhibition in Koforidua in the Eastern Region.

Mrs. Poku received a special citation for her outstanding role in strengthening the economy of Ghana through her company's investment in the export of non-traditional products.

The CEO of GEPA, Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, made the presentation at the opening of the trade exhibition, held on Thursday, June 1, 2023, at the Apenteng Hall of the Koforidua Wesleyan Chapel.

She praised Mrs. Poku for her ambitious effort and encouraged young entrepreneurs to strive for excellence.

The Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Kwame Acheapong, in a speech delivered on his behalf by the Director of Administration at the Eastern Regional Coordinating Council, Moses Kobla Joshua, urged Ghanaians to support female entrepreneurs to acquire the necessary skills, funding, and network opportunities that will help them succeed.

He said the government remains committed to providing viable avenues through the formulation of appropriate policies to shore up exports in order to rake in more foreign exchange.

He lauded GEPA for instituting the Women Icons Regional Exhibitions, adding that female entrepreneurs deserve to be celebrated as a way of encouraging more women to set up businesses.

"By fostering women’s engagement in global trade, we can foster gender equality, enhance social progress, and promote cross-cultural understanding," he said.

Mrs. Poku expressed appreciation to GEPA for the gesture and called for stronger collaboration between the government and the private sector to encourage more investment in the processing of local goods for export.

Women's Icons is an initiative by GEPA to promote women-led businesses while building their capacity for the export market.

The exhibitors, numbering 39, will also benefit from financial management education and social media marketing during the 3-day event.

As part of the 2023 edition, other regional capitals will host exhibitions where prominent female entrepreneurs will be celebrated.

Mrs. Theresa Poku is a farmer and businesswoman who started pineapple farming along the Southern Belt of the Eastern Region's Akuapem Hills, and now produces four varieties of jam for both the local and export markets.

She accepted a request to mentor young people under the Youth in Export Programme (YiEP) which was launched by GEPA in 2019 to inspire the youth to venture into exports and consequently increase Ghana's non-traditional export base.

Now exploring opportunities within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), her company, which employs over 100 workers directly and indirectly, currently exports to Europe and the Middle East.