N/R Minister commends EU, UNIDO

Northern Region Minister Alhaji Shaani Alhassan [L] and the EU Ambassador Irchard Razaaly [R]

The Northern Regional Coordinating Council has commended the European Union for investing millions of Euros in the shea sub-sector under the West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP).

According to the Council, the over 3,000 women in the Northern Region have benefited from the programme.

The EU and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) are supporting some women groups in the shea butter processing industry in the Northern Region.

The initiative seeks to enhance the capacities of shea butter producers in the Region and improve their competitiveness globally.

Speaking to the media during a tour of the EU Ambassador to the region, Northern Regional Minister Alhaji Shaani Alhassan commended EU and UNIDO for supporting the Region to deal with the growing unemployment concerns.

“Women have been marginalized in several activities in the north here due to our belief systems but the EU and UNIDO intervention in the Shea sector is giving a certain level of financial empowerment to the thousands of women out there and as a region, we are grateful.”

The Minister also commended the EU for supporting the Region’s fight against counter terrorism.

“The threat from violent extremists in the Sahel remains a major security challenge for the region which is already grappling with unemployment and so your support has enhanced livelihoods.”

For his part, the EU Ambassador to Ghana, Irchard Razaaly, assured the region of more collaborations geared towards poverty alleviation.

He commended the women groups and the Regional Coordinating Council for the adequate utilization of the fund towards development.

The tour by the EU ambassador and the Chief Technical Advisor to UNIDO, Charles Kwame Sackey, was part of a mission to assess the impact of EU support in the region.

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The global demand for shea products is projected to reach $2.9 billion by 2025.

With the increasing demand comes the need for an improvement in capacity of players in the value chain.

The EU and UNIDO collaboration is, therefore, expected to position women in northern Ghana to benefit more from the global market.

By Christopher Amoako|3news.com|Ghana