Shea butter and groundnut are highly promising products – CAMFED

Hand-crafted shea butter and groundnut are two highly promising agricultural products, with value chains that can stimulate employment for young women in the northern part of Ghana.

Despite the two value chains a number of key constraints have been identified within the market systems including access to machinery and infrastructure, business development services, and access to finance, which must be addressed through the necessary interventions.

Mr Patrick Atta-Buabeng, a Senior Research and Learning Officer, CAMFED, said this during the launch of a Rapid Market Assessment Report to improve decent work and economic opportunities for rural young women.

The Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) with support from the MasterCard Foundation and the International Labour Organisation Labs (ILO Labs), launched the Report at the Research and Learning Summit, on the theme: “Supporting Young Women’s enterprises to thrive during and post COVID-19: What will work”.

It seeks to take a system’s approach to analyse agricultural value chains in Northern Ghana to establish opportunities for improved decent work outcomes for young women.

Mr Atta-Buabeng said the objective is to select two value chains with strong potential to create entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for young women in northern Ghana.

It is also to identify the key constraints within the value chains and their wider market systems – exploring their possible root causes and proposing potential interventions to address them for the benefit of the young women.

Mrs Sally Ofori Yeboah, the CAMFED National Director, said the findings of the study sent a clarion call to community leaders and state agencies to challenge gender and cultural norms that were harmful to young women, particularly with regard to entrepreneurship and employment.

She said there was the need for communities to be sensitised on why such norms were prohibitive to business growth and entrepreneurship of young women, and the benefits that could be derived if there were no challenges for young women.

Ms Kafui Mills-Odoi, the Lead Youth Engagement Officer, Mastercard Foundation, said the agricultural value chain provided enormous opportunities for young Ghanaians to fully leverage with the potential of becoming the major contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

She said agriculture formed an integral part of ‘Young Africa Works’ Ghana strategy, an initiative to make agriculture value chain a livelihood option for young women and men.

She urged all stakeholders to work on the recommendations made in the Report to actualise opportunities for young women in the northern part of the country.

Mr Steve Hartrich, the Technical Officer of ILO Labs, pledged the organisation’s continued support to make a difference in the lives of young people.

CAMFED is a pan-African movement revolutionising how girls’ education is delivered.

Through a gold–standard system of accountability to the young people and communities it serves, it has created a model that radically improves girls’ prospects of becoming independent and influential women.

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