The Aya Institute for Women, Politics and Media has secured partnership with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Ghana under its Programme Support Scheme to undertake a study to assess the potential of women-led businesses in Ghana to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The Institute is building the capacity of women who are cross-border traders and entrepreneurs in Ghana on the opportunities of AfCFTA while advocating for policy reforms that would address any institutional and structural barriers to trade.
The project is the Institute’s contribution to three of the Sustainable Development Goals – gender equality, decent work & economic growth and reduced inequalities for Ghanaian women in project regions.
The International Trade Centre (ITC) estimates the proportion of informal retail trade is around 40% of the cross-border trade, whereby women are disproportionately active in the informal sector (approximately. 70% to 80%) while a recent annual MasterCard Index of Women, placed Ghana second globally in countries with most women entrepreneurs.
These statistics and others have formed the basis for this project.
Aya Institute is of the view that building the capacity of Ghanaian business women through research and training will encourage financial inclusion needed to build a robust economy and end gender poverty which has not only become continental but a global issue countries are struggling to eliminate.
Financial inclusion is crucial to eliminating gender poverty and enable women to be active partakers of our democracy.
The Aya Institute’s team of respected academics and international trade and development experts has been working assiduously on this project since December 2021 and will be launching the research findings in April 2022.
There will be series of stakeholder engagements with the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) and other relevant trade and development organizations.
The geographical focus for this project will be the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western and Northern regions, which are considered ‘trade hubs’ where over 50 percent of women-led businesses are located.
As part of project activities, there will be sensitization programmes on radio and television platforms to educate the public on women’s trade and development.
Research findings will be presented to major stakeholders including the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the AfCFTA secretariat and the media.