Fairtrade Africa has introduced gender ambassadors under its sustainable, democratic and inclusive cocoa cooperatives in West Africa.
The project aims to directly strengthen 90 beneficiaries and indirectly support 30,000 others from 30 cooperatives in Ghana to assume leadership positions in their cooperatives.
Stakeholders at Fairtrade bemoan poverty and gender inequality challenges in the cocoa sector.
Cooperatives have been identified as essential in solving problems faced by individual farmers.
The women’s school of leadership seeks to empower women and strengthen their leadership in their communities.
The training is intended to solve problems within cocoa cooperatives.
Head of region, West Africa Network, Fair Trade, Edward Akapire, said, “Women’s School of Leadership already has several years of experience in Côte d’Ivoire. But we decided to implement it in Ghana because of the positive impact on women.
He continued that, “The goal of the Women’s Leadership School is to provide women cocoa farmers in Ghana with access to a training and mentoring program that will help them improve their knowledge, confidence and ability to create wealth for a living wage”.
The maiden Women’s School of Leadership and Young Cooperative Managers Academy graduation in Ghana was held in the Ashanti Region.
The graduates were from the Asunafo North Cocoa Cooperative and Kuapa Cocoa Farmers Union.
Programs Director of Fairtrade Africa, Chris Oluoch, reiterated the organization’s commitment to empowering women and the youth.
“Our goal is to do more to empower more women and youth. We are therefore committed and open to partnering with government ministries, departments and agencies, like-minded NGOs, traders, chocolate brands and other commercial brands, as well as the donor community in order to achieve more,” he noted.
Fairtrade is implementing sustainable democratic and inclusiveness in West Africa with funding from NORAD.
It targets women and young people in producer’ organizations.
“This programme has really helped become independent, now I have my own school in my community and the enrollment has been encouraging ,”a beneficiary Dora Atiga said.
Another beneficiary, Linda Apa also noted,” The NORAD project has taught me that, as a woman we’re not limited to the kitchen but we can do more if given the opportunity, I’m grateful for the exposure”.
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