Ms Akua Sena Dansua, Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs (MOWAC), on Thursday reiterated government’s commitment to the social and economic advancement of the people.
She said MOWAC would continually demonstrate a steadfast commitment to delivering the NDC manifesto promises, including issues on women who are the major players in national development.
The Minister was speaking at the launch of the 4th Global Women Entrepreneur Trade Fair and Investment Forum, on the theme: “Women Entrepreneurs, Promoting Intra and Inter-Continental Trade – A Tool for Attaining the MDGs” in Accra.
The 11-day fair, organised by the African Women Entrepreneur (AFWE), in collaboration with the Ghana Association of Women Entrepreneur (GAWE), would give a platform for women entrepreneurs to showcase their products and also exchange business ideas.
Ms. Dansua said when women entrepreneurs are given the enabling environment such as financial support they could promote relations between ECOWAS, Africa and the global economy through trade.
She said the ministry would continue to explore and enhance opportunities for the development of women.
Ms Dansua said research had indicated that the economic empowerment of women was critical to the achievement of gender equality, equity as well as increased prosperity for nations.
She said the formal sector was one area where Ghanaian and West African women successfully integrated themselves long before activism for the empowerment of women.
“We in Ghana are witnesses to the power of the Makola woman and Market Queens not only in the markets but also at the family and general societal levels. I believe the same is also true of other countries represented at this forum,” she added.
That great economic power of women, she said, had greatly impacted on national and political integration of the countries and their activities go beyond tribal, religious, political or any artificial barriers that existed among countries.
Ms Dansua appealed to government and financial institutions to continue to support women entrepreneurs to enable them expand their businesses.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Hannah Tetteh stressed the need for women entrepreneurs to be encouraged to transform small informal enterprises into formal small and medium enterprises to bring out their full potentials.
She said this would make them visible in their national economies, enable them to contribute to the growth of Gross Domestic Product and relevant in the global market.
Ms Tetteh advised AFWE to provide fertile grounds for women entrepreneurs, whether they were starting or sustaining their ventures to improve their lot.
She said although the role of women was crucial in bringing change in their communities, unfortunately majority of them were engaged in micro-enterprises and stressed the need to give the necessary assistance to such women.
Ms. Lucia Quachey, President of GAWE, said African women played vital role in creating jobs across the five regions in Africa, Asia, Europe and USA on regular basis across borders and not only within their own regions.
“During these challenging times, we must continue to collaborate more closely as women operating at all levels of human endeavour to coherently and efficiently as one strong force reverse the possible risk of the hard fought development gains,” she added.
Ms Edna Ismaila, Executive member of AFWE, said the forum was to empower women on the continent, create the environment for them to discuss issues concerning their businesses and seek ideas on how others solved their problems.
She urged women to take advantage of the fair to enhance their businesses and move ahead to form inter-continental trade.