Successful women rewarded
The Ghana Association of Women Entrepreneurs (GAWE), at the weekend, presented several women in the country and within the sub-region with awards for their achievements in corporate entrepreneurship, politics, academic, governance, health, finance, social interventions and the show of potential leadership.
This was at a dinner and awards night organised by GAWE to close the five-day Global Women Entrepreneur Trade Fair and Investment Forum in Accra.
The forum was attended by over 100 women from Ghana, The Gambia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and the United States of America.
Among the prestigious award winners were some of Ghana’s first women top office holders like Her Lordship Mrs. Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, The Chief Justice, The Right Honorable Mrs. Joyce Bamford-Addo, Speaker of Parliament, Mrs. Elizabeth Mills-Robinson, first woman Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Ms. Hannah Bossman, first woman Acting Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice.
Other wards winners were Ms. Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms. Ama Benyiwa-Doe, Central Regional Minister, Dr. Grace Bediako, first woman Government Statistician, Ms. Esther Cobbah, Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Communications (STRATCOM) Africa and Ms. Mawuena Adjo Dumor, Corporate Services Executive of MTN Ghana, the leading mobile telecommunications operator in the country.
Mrs. Lucia Kwakye, President of GAWE noted that the award winners were shining examples of what women could achieve when given the opportunity.
Borrowing from President Barack Obama’s world acclaimed slogan “yes we can”, she said women had often had to break through glasses and walls to become achievers and so they shared in that famous slogan “yes we can.”
Mrs. Kwakye read out a communiqué reached at the end of the five day forum, in which GAWE and the participants made several recommendations in the areas of intra-Africa and intercontinental trade, capacity building, technical and ICT support for women, changes in social and cultural norms and practice, women’s health, access to credit for women without collateral and many others with the view to creating an enabling environment for women to contribute effectively to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
They called on African governments, donor organisations, the international community, regional, sub-regional and continental organisations to take specific and practical roles to clear impediments in the way of women’s progress in entrepreneurship, and urged women themselves to join forces and strategise their success in the face of impediments.
“African governments must for instance work together to closely monitor activities at the borders to ensure that the attitudes of customs and immigrations service staff at the border posts does not adversely affect cross border trade,” she said.
She said individual governments should also resource Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as non-governmental organisations who deal with women to ensure that those organisations were well positioned to facilitate the progress of women.
Mrs Kwakye said donors and development partners should also deliver on their promises to developing countries on time, particularly in the areas of support for the MDGs, in order for the individual countries to fulfil their responsibility towards women.
Mrs. Kwakye urged women entrepreneurs to build their capacities in the areas of ICT, food processing, value addition and preservation, standardisation and credit accessing strategies, preventive health and other areas that would place women in the position to be competitive both in the national and the global market.
In a speech read on her behalf, Ms. Akua Sena Dansua, Minister of Women and Children Affair pledged governments support for the women and assured that the ministry would continue to create an enabling environment for women to realise their potentials.