Several women-led and women-centred businesses in the Upper West Region have exhibited their products and services at the Women Expo Regional Road Show event in Wa.
The products on exhibition included smocks and smock products, body and hair creams, and locally processed food products, among others.
Speaking at the opening of the event, Nana Adwoa Kwegyir-Aggrey, the Women Expo Ghana Event Director, observed that the initiative was part of efforts to create a platform for emerging and already established women entrepreneurs to interact with their market and to create visibility for their products and services.
The four-day event slated for March 8 to March 11, 2023, would also feature free health screening, talks on teenage pregnancy and female reproductive health, agribusiness for women, fashion show, indigenous cooking contest, and IT skills training, among others.
Nana Kwegyir-Aggrey indicated that the Women Expo event had been in existence since 2015 and had since hosted over 500 exhibitors and over 10,000 visitors in Accra.
She explained that the regional roadshow series in the Upper West Region, the first of its kind since the inception of the initiative, was aimed to provide businesses in the regions with the opportunities to display their products and to create networks with potential markets within and outside the region.
“Women’s Expo Ghana is the go-to consumer engagement and sales platform for women entrepreneurs as well as for businesses that market products and services targeted at women,” she explained.
Talking about the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, “DigitAll: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality,” Nana Kwegyir-Aggrey indicated that technology and innovation were driving forces for business development, which the women entrepreneurs ought to harness.
“Everything we do now involves technology and as women entrepreneurs it is important, we are conversant with basic knowledge in technology to conduct our day-to-day business activities,” she said.
Nana Kwegyir-Aggrey also urged young women to use social media platforms to promote their businesses rather than promoting nudity and promiscuity.
Nana Kwegyir-Aggrey identified the difficulty of women entrepreneurs in the region to register their businesses as one of the major challenges affecting them and said they would consider assisting the businesses to register.
Mr Peter Maala, the Upper West Regional Coordinating Director, who represented the Upper West Regional Minister, Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih, thanked the organisers of the event for creating the platform for female businesses in the region to display their products as well as to network for their business growth.
He urged all “stakeholders to commit to eradicating all structural barriers, discriminatory laws and practices, including social and cultural norms that hinder women from realizing their full potential and accelerating in the world of work.”
Mr Maala also stressed the need for concerted efforts towards ending child marriages and other harmful traditional practices that violated young girls’ dignity and human rights as well as ending violence against women.
On her part, Madam Charity Batuure, the Upper West Regional Director of the Department of Gender, urged women businesses in the region to take advantage of the Women Expo event and available technology to market their products to the outside world.
“We have a lot of potential, and we can do more. It is time to make our products attractive by using technology to brand them. I want to tell you that you are doing more than you think,” she said.
She praised the women for their diverse contributions to the development of the national economy saying, “No matter how small, whatever you are doing, you are contributing to the development of our region, Ghana, and the whole world.”