Women in the Cocoa Sector in Ghana Poised for Action

05 October 2018

Women in the cocoa sector now have a platform to promote issues of mutual interest. On World Cocoa Day, Solidaridad and the Ghana Cocoa Board launched the Ghana chapter of the Women in Cocoa and Chocolate Network (WINCC). This Network creates a place for women working in cocoa and chocolate to connect, learn and become inspired to take on a leadership role. It will enable the women to share relevant knowledge across different levels of influence and functional areas.

The launch of WINCC was held under the theme, “Cocoa consumption: business and health”. The Deputy Minister of Information, Hon. Nana Ama Dokuaa Asiamah, conducted the launch. She emphasized the important contributions of women to the socio-economic development of Ghana. Nana Dokuaa said: “women cocoa farmers were central to the sustainability of the cocoa supply chain and growing communities”.

Women in the cocoa sector to take up key leadership roles

She also noted having a gender-focused network would promote the development and advancement of women in cocoa and chocolate sectors. “I am confident that WINCC will equip the women in the cocoa sector with the requisite knowledge and enable them to take up key leadership roles in society. This will help mitigate the gender inequality that has to a greater extent characterized the society”, she said.

 “I am confident that WINCC will equip the women in the cocoa sector with the requisite knowledge and enable them to take up key leadership roles in society."

Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah conducted the formal launch of the network. 

A wide range of women across different levels of influence

The programme was attended by over 200 women from the entire cocoa value chain across different levels of influence. This includes cocoa farmers, cooperation members, women working in cocoa & chocolate companies, governments, civil society organizations, donors and other supply chain actors. Key speakers commented on challenges faced by women and how the network will help to strengthen their role in Ghana’s cocoa sector.

Suzan Yemidi, Country Representative of Solidaridad in Ghana and International Programme Coordinator for Cocoa, noted the partnership with the Ghana Cocoa Board. The establishment of WINCC highlights women’s critical role in enhancing Ghana’s position as the world’s second largest producer of cocoa globally.  

WINCC, she said, aims at stimulating professional women throughout the value chain to increase their scope of influence and become more visible and active in contributing to the objective of a more sustainable value chain.

She emphasized women economic empowerment in the cocoa sector is key on Solidaridad’s agenda. “We are currently exploring opportunities for cocoa farmers to diversify their income sources and make them more resilient economically. We support value addition through improved technology, capacity enhancement and access to sustainable financing”, she said.

Suzan Yemidi, Country representative of Solidaridad 

Challenges for women cocoa farmers

Dr. Agnes Naadu Owusu Ansah, the Director of Audit at the Ghana Cocoa Board, indicated that about 25 percent of cocoa farmers in Ghana are women. But in most cases, they do not have control over their own incomes and earnings. This, she said, goes a long way to affect the livelihood of their families, especially children.

She expressed the commitment of the Ghana Cocoa Board to promoting inclusivity in the cocoa sector. “To empower women, the Ghana Cocoa Board is collaborating with various stakeholders whose vision is to ensure equity and equality in the industry. The Board values women in the supply chain and has been working consciously to avoid gender inequality. We want more women in decision making roles”, she said.

President of the Akyemamsa Women Cocoa Farmers’ Association, Madam Augustina Bortey Tetteh

"The introduction of WINCC in Ghana gives me great hope that women’s needs will receive the needed attention to help them reach their full economic potential”

President of the Akyemamsa Women Cocoa Farmers’ Association, Madam Augustina Bortey Tetteh, called for critical attention to address challenges faced by women in the sector. “Women in the cocoa sector are seldom recognized for their hard work. The assistance needed to propel them to attain their full potential is ignored. The introduction of WINCC in Ghana gives me great hope that women’s needs will receive the needed attention to help them reach their full economic potential”, she said.

Nana Adwoa Dokua WINCC Ambassador for Ghana

A board member of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Nana Adwoa Dokua, was introduced as the WINCC Ambassador in Ghana during the launch. Nana Dokua is currently the only female member on the Board of Directors of the Ghana Cocoa Board. She is passionate about women empowerment and has used her position to champion the affairs of women cocoa farmers across the country.

Nana Adwoa Dokua, was introduced as the WINCC Ambassador in Ghana during the launch.

Other participating organizations included Hershey's, The Cocoa Life Program of Mondelēz International, Barry Callebaut Ghana, Cargill, Olam Ghana Limited, Sidalco Group of Companies among others.

For more information on WINCC, please go to: https://sites.google.com/site/womenincocoachocolate/home

Read more on WINCC:

Read more about Solidaridad's cocoa programme: 

https://www.solidaridadnetwork.org/supply-chains/cocoa 

Published by: Solidaridad West Africa

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  • Contact Information

    Suzan-Hermina Yemidi

    International Programme Coordinator, Cocoa