IT hub launches project to empower rural businesswomen
The Yison Tech Hub, an Information Technology (IT) hub in Wa, has launched the “Smart Woman Project” seeking to empower about 200 rural businesswomen in digital skills including Facebook, internet of things and MoMo fraud detection.
They would also be trained in business management skills to enable them to expand their businesses.
Mr Serikpera Naa Issahaque, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Yison Tech Hub, speaking at the launch of the Project in Nadowli, said the training would equip the women with the skills to access the digital market for their products.
He indicated that the project, to be implemented from October 2023 to September 2025 in the Nadowli-Kaleo District, was the first of its kind in the country and supported by the Internet Society Foundation in the United States of America (USA).
He said the beneficiary women were selected from ten communities in the district including the Sankana, Takpo, Charikpong, Serekpere and Nadowli in consultation with the various stakeholders at the district and community levels such as traditional leaders and appropriate institutional heads at the District Assembly.
Mr Issahaque explained that though women outnumbered men in the country, men dominated the business sector, and expressed hope that when the women were empowered with the digital skills, they would also participate actively in the business environment.
“One of the challenges is that people have products but there is no market. Sometimes these middlemen take advantage of them, so we are trying to prevent these challenges that women face in doing businesses,” he indicated.
He stated that women played a critical role in the local and national economy but access to the needed business support and skills development had been a challenge.
He expressed the hope that building the confidence and ability of women in the use of the Internet would help improve their business activities.
Mr Issahaque said the project intended to build an e-commerce platform so the women could continue to link the women’s businesses to markets as well as work with other stakeholders at the district and community levels to help sustain the project gains after it elapsed.
He said that would also help stop women from travelling to the southern sector to engage in miniature jobs and sometimes end up in social vices such as commercial sex work.
Dr George Dery, the Board Chairman of Yison Tech Hub, expressed the hope that the project would generate the needed impact among the women in the district.
Mr Alhassan Tonsuglo, an Assistant Director at the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council, who represented the Upper West Regional Minister at the launch, observed that limited access to technology had held back rural women for a long time though they were a critical component of the local economy.
He indicated that through the project the women would not only be equipped with the digital skills, but they would be empowered and transformed to take advantage of the digital marketing platforms.