After a few years of great partnerships of the SheTrades initiative in third world and developing economies around the globe and over many years since the establishment of the International Trade Center, its building every day and growing its numbers especially as it relates to women in trade. While the SheTrades portal offers a great opportunity for women entrepreneurs to connect verified buyers and sellers, it’s also gradually growing to be the movement it was cut out for i.e. a community of women developing new friendships and partnerships in business across the globe.
Ethel Cofie, CEO of Edel Technology Consulting
There has been a lot of talk about the initiative and many campaigns held and in several countries, awareness has been created in the quest to connect one million women to market by 2020, an ambition that is been worked on with such alacrity and great speed. West Africa in the month of November 2017 had a taste of it with the initiative traveling to Ghana and Nigeria. With Anna Mori and Loly Gaitan been great officers of the ITC working with passion and drive to support women in business.
Loly Gaitan of the ITC in action; explains the SheTrades initiative to Japhet Duga, a business leader.
In this picture is Mr. Doni Kwame, MD of the World Trade Center( immediate left) Loly Gaitan (ITC,Geneva) and Paa Kwesi Inkumsah (TradeBridge Ghana Ltd)
Seeing approximately 95 women all in one space in a meeting that had targeted a maximum of 60 people was overwhelming , we had to close the doors to prevent the excessive numbers that kept trooping in.
This first pilot of the workshop in Ghana, proofs that there is the need for knowledge for women entrepreneurs to expand, grow and build. My first hand interaction with many of the women entrepreneurs revealed a few need areas key to which was access to finance for some,creating marketing for others as well as assistance with getting ready for the export market for others.
One key interest that immediately tested the relevance of the workshop was how both corporate and public sector leaders in Ghana pledged their support for women in export.
It was even more refreshing when a lady walked to me to say a big thanks for convincing her to stay and sharing with me the instant value she had been connected to a buyer for her oil palm business.
Chiedza Makonnen, SheTrades Beneficiary in Ghana and Lawrence Agyinsam, CEO of EximBank, Ghana
While many have good products, I realized with keen interest that there was also a challenge with packaging themselves to be more attractive and sort out for. The many examples shared by women leaders, breaking barriers in technology and other areas from Ghana and Kenya offered great value as motive actors to encourage women to keep on going.
While women have been more entrepreneurial especially in sub saharan Africa, they have been the most marginalized and its a new dawn for them to receive the support they need to keep shining their light in trade and export.
President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Mrs. Patricia Sappor supports the SheTrades Initiative.
Women were encouraged that sometimes they win and sometimes, they learn as the affable president of the chartered institute of bankers in Ghana, Mrs. Patricia Sappor threw more light on the need for financial discipline of women entrepreneurs, a point that was well received and buttressed by Mr. Lawrence Agyinsam, CEO of Exim Bank Ghana who pledged his support as much as possible to position Ghana as an export ready market.
To make the SheTrades initiative work requires the support of all, both male and female and its great to know that there are a lot of men supporting women in this effort. It was very touching to see a husband that came with his wife and took on the responsibility of baby sitting his child as well as nephew so both mothers, all business owners could focus on the business of the day. In many small ways, every one is making that contribution to ensure the success of this initiative.
The day long activity ended on a great note with women networking with each other, full of energy, hope and the ability to do more and win more.
Supporting The SheTrades Initiative with Amazing Women
Tourism anywhere in the world is a great income generator.its an opportunity that needs more attention if it must attract tourists. While a lot of factors like peace and security make a destination attractive, branding of a destination wets the taste buds and serves as a motivation to visit a destination.
My travel around the world has given me a very good appreciation of different countries and how they prioritize tourism. Let’s for a minute focus on the Brand SA or the Maldives, we can consider Mauritius too if you like.
I love South Africa and all of it, its people as well as its sights and sounds and how their government constantly make the country attractive via promotions. Just recently while away in Europe, I experienced again awesome promotion of a country and selling points that would make you want to book your next holiday to that destination.
While my country Ghana has a lot of scenery and awesome places to visit, its promotion internationally has not been the best. Every year, we attend different tourism events, key to which is the World Travel Market (WTM) which is hosted each year in London with the potential to attract many people from different walks of life who are interested in buying tourism packages. The unfortunate thing however is that, the creativity put in to make visitors interested in Ghana, isn’t the best and least attractive.
My comparison of WTM in 2013 and fast tracked to 2017 of Ghana has seen very little improvement. The question however is, what makes it difficult for the tourism authority to implement great ideas that they see each time they travel and what are the barriers if any that prevents them from achieving them?
Let me show you what I mean. In 2013, this is how the architecture of the Ghana stand looked like.
Ghana Stand, WTM 2013
Now, let’s compare it to 2017 and see what actually changed.
Ghana Stand at WTM 2017
Look very closely and see if there has been significant change 4years on, and each time, the country visits London for the travel market, which makes me question a lot of things. Do the authority lack creativity in selling Ghana better? I think that it would be great to start a conversation in this regard.
Let me share with you the structures of other countries and you be the judge.
A bit of Malawi at the WTM 2017
To stand out and be different, Malawi decided to import a bit of its architecture from home to give people the feel and taste of the country.
A spark of Madagascar at WTM 2017
While the Madagascar stand isn’t too different from the Ghana one, compare the two and see how attractive and appealing this is. The word is not be boring, but exciting, tourism represents holiday, seeing new things and having fun, it should not be static like Ghana has depicted each year.
Finally, find below the presentation of Botswana
Botswana at WTM 2017
The little things can make significant impact if we pay attention to the details.
While I would like to show you more, I would want to end here and engage the Ghana Tourism Authority with ideas that are inexpensive and can help the country promote its tourism better to attract more. I had asked tourism expects to rate Ghana’s marketing initiative in WTM the past years and have all given a 5 out of 10 when we could be at 8 and easily with a lot of ideas that can be implemented. To be the tourism destination in the sub region, Ghana must spend time and money on promoting the destinations.
(Geneva-Nairobi-Accra) – The International Trade Centre (ITC), the African Guarantee Fund (AGF) and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) have announced that the Third Green Financing for Sustainable Development Conference will be held in Accra, Ghana, at the Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel on 21 November 2017.
The conference will be followed by a training workshop for selected staff from selected financial institutions on how to lever green finance and the AGF Green Guarantee Facility. The training workshop for financial institutions is by invitation only and will take place on 23-25 November at the Best Western Plus Accra Beach Hotel.
The conference and consecutive training workshops aim to expand access to climate-focused finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa and are in line with the Government of Ghana’s efforts to green the country’s economy.
The conference will provide an opportunity to review the current status of green finance in Ghana and the country’s efforts to green its economy. Ministers and representatives from the Ghanaian public sector will share their experience and lessons learnt from implementing the ‘Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda II’, and the ‘National Climate Change Policy’. Participants from other countries will explore the perspectives of regulators and finance providers and the changes required to spur the development of new products and services.
This conference and the workshops are part of a partnership between ITC, AGF and NDF to promote sustainable finance in Africa in four pilot countries. In addition to this third event in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire will host a similar event for francophone countries in the first quarter of 2018. The first event was organised in Zambia in March 2017, and another was held in Kenya in June 2017.
For registrations, click here.
About the African Guarantee Fund
Officially launched on 1 June 2012, the African Guarantee Fund is a pan-African non-bank financial institution owned by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID). AGF’s primary mandate is to assist financial institutions in Africa to scale up their SME financing through the provision of partial loan guarantees and capacity development assistance.
About the Nordic Development Fund
Established by Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden in 1989, NDF is a joint Nordic finance institution focusing exclusively on climate change and development in low income countries. It supports public and private sector led climate finance operations across Africa, Asia and Latin America and became an AGF shareholder in 2016 with the launch of the green guarantee facility.
About the International Trade Centre
ITC is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
A GOAL: Connect 1 million women to market by 2020
Women’s economic empowerment is not a matter for government policy, the private sector, or civil society alone. All have critical roles to play. This is why the International Trade Centre (ITC) has launched the SheTrades initiative, which seeks to connect one million women entrepreneurs to market by 2020.
Having more women in the marketplace has a positive impact businesses in all sectors and the women themselves who benefit from a larger workforce, more competition, and as a result more choices between better products. In fact, the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that advancing women’s equality could add US $28 trillion to global GDP by 2025, enabling economies to unlock their full potential –and SheTrades is the key.
A BLUEPRINT: Seven global actions to ensure success
While women’s economic empowerment has been on the global development agenda for almost two decades, knowledge about female entrepreneurship has been fragmentary, and the business and economic cases have not been fully articulated. Our months’ long consultations in 2015 with thought leaders around the world sought to ramp up the trajectory towards eradicating extreme poverty by 2030. These consultations revealed that a key challenge is the persisting silos between the various actors working in this area, as well as the substantive components of women’s enterprise development including research, policy, finance, access to markets and capacity building.
Stakeholders ranging from financial institutions to research and multilateral organisations are called upon to collaborate with ITC to expand opportunities for women entrepreneurs by making specific, actionable pledges.
SheTrades Workshop In Accra
SheTrades Workshop in Ghana 22 November 2017 Is a workshop designed to build up the knowledge of women entrepreneurs on sourcing opportunities for funding such as Green Finance and to raise awareness on the ITC (International Trade Center) SheTrades Initiative as a solution to expand their networks, access finance and connect to global value chains (i.e. with potential buyers and investors). The opportunity is opened to women entrepreneurs who are export ready. Contact email@example.com for participation information.