A Women empowerment project of Unilever Ghana PLC known as “Songtaa” has been launched in Wa.
The first round of the initiative was outdoored in November 2018 under the project name SHAKTI. But now, a local name “Songtaa” which means “help one another” in Dagaare has been adopted for the second round of the project with 100 women drawn from four Districts in Upper West as beneficiaries.
In this write up, GBC’s Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo says the intervention is being rolled out by Unilever Ghana PLC in partnership with ProNet North, an NGO.
The 100 beneficiaries who were selected from rural communities were trained in basic book-keeping, financial management as well as saving principles among others to help them to know how to set up and grow small businesses.
The Managing Director of Unilever Ghana PLC, George Owusu-Ansah commended the woman for stepping up their game.
Throwing more light on the initiative, Mr Owusu-Ansah said, “Women who sign onto this programme are offered Unilever products on credit and the products are here for all to see. And it is for them to sell. They get to keep the profit and restock them again with the capital generated from the sales. Effectively, they start and run their own businesses. This initiative for us at Unilever is testament of our commitments to contributing to a fairer and more socially inclusive world”.
The Upper West Regional Minister, Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih touched on the challenges of job creation by local authorities and hammered the need for those benefiting from the Songtaa project to make the best out of it.
”One of the biggest challenges local authorities in charge of the Upper West face is generating enough viable and sustainable businesses to create the needed jobs for our teeming youth”.
‘Dr. Bin Salih stated that according to a recent survey by the International Labour Organization (ILO), unemployment rate in Ghana increased to 4.5% in 2020 from 4.1 % in 2019 and the most affected are women and the youth.
“It is for this reason that I urge our women who today have been offered this opportunity by Unilever Ghana PLC to make the best out of this offer. Their success will determine the sustenance of this initiative and, for that matter, its extension to other women in the region,” he emphasized.
The Director of ProNet North, Martin Dery observed “that there is a wrong perception that big businesses tend to be insensitive to social development, but Unilever globally as well as in Ghana has proven that the assertion is grossly unfair”.
He expressed excitement about the Songtaa Project, saying, “I am happy that today we are at an event that is to ensure that the women who have been our most loyal customers [are supported], Unilever is taking an interest to confront poverty in the Upper West Region and this is very important for us”.
Mr Dery assured that ProNet North which is partnering Unilever in the implementation of Songtaa Initiative will play its role assiduously for many women to benefit from the project.
The President of Upper West Regional Queen Mothers Association, Hala Kuoru Hajaratu Limann appealed to Unilever Ghana PLC to increase the number of beneficiaries on the project and extend it to all zones in Upper West.