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Ghana, 5 other Africa countries benefit from $13M shea project

Some shea nut collectors in Ghana
Some shea nut collectors in Ghana
The Global Shea Alliance (GSA) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have signed a $13 million agreement to promote shea markets worldwide and improve sustainable production in Africa.
Ghana is among six countries to benefit from the five-year project. The other countries are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Nigeria.
“The shea industry is changing and companies, governments, and donors are investing more in sustainable production and improving the benefit to 16,000,000 women collectors and processors,” says Moumouni Konate, President of the Global Shea Alliance.
“The goal of this critical partnership is to help women collectors and processors organize into cooperatives, obtain equipment and training, and improve the financial benefit from the sale of their products. Stronger women’s groups will process more shea, improve quality, and protect the trees.”
The partnership will match up to $6.5 million in USAID funds with $6.5 million in private sector funding raised by the GSA to implement promotional and sustainability activities.
A woman processing shea butter
A woman processing shea butter
These include construction of 250 warehouses for women shea collector and processor groups, capacity building and trainings for 137,500 women shea collectors and processors and health and safety initiatives for women collectors.
The partnership will also help improve the financial benefit of women collectors and processors by 50 percent, support research projects to improve shea tree planting materials, and support tree planting campaigns and improved management of parklands.
An additional conservation resource conservation projects will also help to reduce wood and water use.
“We know well the benefits of increased trade for rural communities across Africa,” said Alex Deprez, USAID/West Africa Mission Director, during the Global Shea Alliance’s annual conference in Accra, Ghana.
“The GSA is pioneering efforts to grow markets and improve the livelihoods of rural women and their families that stand at the base of the shea value chain. We are proud to partner in these activities.”
By Kofi Adu Domfeh|TV3|3news.com|Ghana

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