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20.06.2005 Business & Finance

Enhance productive capacity of women entrepreneurs


Accra, June 20, GNA - The Minister of Women and Children's Affair, Hajia Alima Mahama has underscored the need to enhance the productive capacity of women entrepreneurs as a strategy for reducing poverty. She said the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) Document indicated that the widespread poverty among women was largely due to low incomes, high illiteracy rates, lack of access to and control of productive resources including credit facilities and skills and information.

Hajia Mahama, who was speaking at a seven-day entrepreneurial workshop in Accra, said in view of the situation the Government was pursuing a strategy that aimed at facilitating women's equal access to resources, trade, markets and employment opportunities. The workshop, attended by 70 women entrepreneurs, is focused on providing women with information that would aid them to access credit facilities to promote their businesses.

The United States Government in partnership with the University of Ghana Social Works Department is sponsoring it. Hajia Mahama noted that the task of empowering women and children, with the view to enhancing their prospects for protection and self-development was challenging and required a collaborative effort. She, however, acknowledged that it was the mandate of the Ministry to strengthen women to meet the challenge of playing equal roles in the developmental tasks of the nation as partners of their male counterparts.

The Minister noted that since 2001, the Ministry had pre-occupied itself with initiating the right institutional framework, location and policies to address the endemic poverty that is pervasive among women. Hajia Mahama said currently a Women's Development Fund had been established as a poverty reduction means to enhance the socio-economic status of women on the fringes of subsistence economy in the country. She observed that if these women were given the necessary push they would shift from operating at the micro and small-scale level to the macro level.

"The development of women-owned businesses, if properly executed, will directly affect their ability to meet their needs, augment their earnings from business activities and acquire resources for future investment. 20 June 05