Vodafone Ghana Foundation has partnered the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to empower 1,500 women in the informal sector with digital and financial skills in the Upper East region.
The project, dubbed “Bringing the Informal to the Formal,” will directly train these women, mostly found in the Agric-processing sector, in savings, food security, business improvement; whilst equipping them with financial services through Vodafone’s mobile money platform.
The project is also expected to bring indirect benefit to 10,000 households in the region.
Vodafone Foundation is using this partnership to address issues to do with female inequality in the economic sector and also drive key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); especially Goals 1-No Poverty; 8-Decent Work and Economic Growth and 10-Reduced Inequality.
Launching the programme at the Jubilee park in the Upper East regional capital, Bolgatanga, Chief Executive, Patricia Obo-Nai said:
“It is never comfortable to be disadvantaged in any circumstance. One of our key themes as a company, through the Vodafone Foundation, is to focus on inclusion and to empower our society digitally so no one is left behind. Altogether, we are aiming to support a total of 1,500 women directly within a period of 24-months. We are confident that this will yield a lot of results like empowerment and digital inclusion; jobs creation and livelihood improvement. It will also bring progress and development to this region.”
Commenting, Regional Minister for Upper East, Paulina Abayege said:
“This project is critical for the excluded and undeserved population in Ghana. If you consider the fact that about 80% of the workforce is employed in the informal sector – especially agric-processing – then there is no doubt that this initiative will improve business and financial capacity and bring our women from the informal to the formal sector.”
Radhika Lal, Economic Advisor at the UNDP for Ghana and The Gambia, also said;
“We are happy to be partnering Vodafone in this initiative as we seek to directly empower women through technology and also contribute to meeting the SDGs. We are happy that these women can have such opportunities and scale up their impact in society in this region.”
The 24-month project is utilising several Village Savings and Loans groups scattered in the districts; and will also involve other NGOs in the region, including ActionAid, to bring it to life.