It was all joy and excitement when Mobile Telecommunications Network MTN, commissioned a new Oil Palm Processing Plant for the people of Juaso and its environs in the Asante Akim South Municipality of Ashanti region.
The Modern Oil Palm Processing Plant which cost GHC740,000 came as a Savior for both women and children in Juaso as the women used a basic school in the center of Juaso for their processing area, in spite of the harsh weather conditions coupled with insurmountably thick smoke from their clay stoves to the classrooms.
Not only did MTN sponsor the building of the plant, but they also ensured the women were properly trained in modernized ways of processing oil palm, by sponsoring study tours for them throughout Ghana and Ethiopia.
The women were trained in entrepreneurship, business management and technology to improve oil palm processing
Speaking at the Commissioning, a member of the Board of Directors for the MTN Foundation, Mrs. Nabila Williams said one of their joys is that the opening of the plant would greatly enhance the economic impact of women that MTN has so desired, calling on men in the area, to help their wives do well in that regard.
She appealed to the Chiefs and political heads of the area to continue taking the women through various forms of training to enhance not only the profitability of the plant but making it known and accepted internationally.
“Many such projects by NGOs across the country have collapsed because there is no training or reinforcements to even make sure that they understand what exactly they are supposed to do and to sustain it because it forms part of their livelihood”. She stressed.
The Chief Executive Officer of MTN Selorm Adadevor disclosed that the construction of the oil palm processing facility brings to 145 the number of projects undertaken by the MTN Foundation since its inception.
According to him, the construction of the projects is one way of sending the monies they made in the communities back to them for the development of their customers.
“As you all can attest to, our commitment to our social responsibility is second to none in this country”. He boasted.
Mr. Adadevor appealed to chiefs, religious and political leaders to see to the maintenance and sustenance of the facility not only because a huge amount of money had been spent on it but for the benefit and development of children in the community and even generations unborn.
“As oil palm has greatly contributed to the development of the Indonesian economy so do we expect this modern oil palm processing plant to turn the Juaso economy around for the benefit of generations”, he encouraged them.
Earlier, the Chief of Juaso Nana Kwasi Tabi in his welcome address could not end his appreciation to MTN for the ‘great kindness done them’ encouraged his subjects who do not use MTN network to switch over immediately, a statement which aroused a lot of amusement and applause.
He said the factory and equipments brought by MTN would greatly enhance the development of especially the women who have taken oil palm processing as their full time vocation in the area, advising them to be diligent in the work.
The Ashanti regional Minister Simon Osei Mensah also commended the MTN for the construction of the facility which could support 200 women in the Asante Akim South town.
Mr. Osei Mensah reechoed government’s resolve to improve the lives of women to achieve gender equality announcing that a directive had been given to Microfinance and Small Scale Loans Center (MASLOC) to ensure that 50 per cent loans disbursed are given to women engaged in small scale farming and businesses like oil palm processing.