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University of Development Studies, ILO Boost Shea Entrepreneurship

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As part of efforts to bolster Ghana’s shea industry and uplift local entrepreneurs, the University of Development Studies (UDS) has joined forces with the International Labour Organization (ILO) to establish a Shea Entrepreneurship Resource Centre.

This groundbreaking initiative aims to equip budding entrepreneurs with the knowledge and tools necessary to thrive in the shea value chain.

During a certification program organized by the ILO’s Productivity Ecosystems for Decent Work project, Professor Seidu Alhassan, Vice Chancellor of UDS, unveiled plans for the innovative center. He emphasized the importance of understanding labor dynamics, enhancing productivity, and promoting sustainable practices within the shea industry.

“This training aims to harness entrepreneurs the potential of the shea industry while promoting sustainable development,” remarked Professor Seidu Alhassan, Vice Chancellor of UDS.

Despite the immense potential of Ghana’s shea industry, it remains underdeveloped. Shea butter exports soared to over 92 million US dollars in 2022, yet there’s much room for growth. With the global shea butter market projected to reach 5.58 billion US dollars by 2033, the time is ripe for transformative initiatives.

“By empowering entrepreneurs and fostering innovation in the shea sector, we can unlock new opportunities for economic growth and development,” stated Samuel Asiedu Onuma, the national project coordinator of the ILO’s Trade for Decent Work project.

Samuel Asiedu Onuma, the national project coordinator of the ILO’s Trade for Decent Work project, highlighted the significance of supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to improve productivity. Through training and the provision of basic equipment, the project aims to empower enterprises to maximize their potential.

“By providing SMEs with the tools and knowledge they need to thrive, we can create a more inclusive and sustainable economy,” explained Samuel Asiedu Onuma, the national project coordinator of the ILO’s Trade for Decent Work project.

Esther Nambiru, founder of the Agape Shea Butter Cooperative, shared her journey with the ILO, expressing gratitude for the impactful training received. She emphasized the importance of organizing processing sectors, fostering good employee relationships, and implementing strategies to prevent wastage.

“My journey with ILO has been impactful. We have been taught how to organize our processing sectors, foster good employee relationships, and implement strategies to prevent wastage,” said Esther Nambiru, founder of the Agape Shea Butter Cooperative.

Zakaria Adams Nashira, CEO of the Yumza Women’s Association, echoed Esther’s sentiments, praising the collaborative efforts of the ILO, UDS, and their partners. He emphasized the transformative impact of the training on enterprises in the region, emphasizing its potential to reduce wastage and enhance productivity.

“ILO, University of Development Studies, and its partners have organized such an impactful training for enterprises in the region. It will go a long way to help prevent wastage,” said Zakaria Adams Nashira, CEO of the Yumza Women’s Association.

The ILO’s Productivity Ecosystems for Decent Work project, spanning multiple countries including Ghana, South Africa, and Vietnam, seeks to promote productivity growth for decent work. With funding from the governments of Switzerland and Norway, the project is poised to catalyze positive change in the shea industry and beyond.

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