Opportunity International holds stakeholders workshop on Economic Empowerment of Women

Opportunity International (United Kingdom) holds Annual Stakeholders’ Meeting at Accra City Hotel on  “Economic Empowerment of Women in Ghana and Democratic Republic of Congo through rural financing” supported by UK Aid Match.

The maiden meeting was attended by all the project stakeholders, including Opportunity International UK, Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans (SASL), VisionFund – Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Esoko, Participatory Development Associates (PDA), Warehousing Consultants and Opportunity International Savings and Loans (OISL). The objectives of the meeting were to review the first year’s achievements, for participants to learn from each other’s experiences, and to integrate learning into action planning.

The overall objective of ‘The Economic Empowerment of Women Project’ is to help increase the participation and empowerment of 12,000 women in the rural economies of Ghana and the DRC in order to improve productivity, build assets and increase household income.

The Chief Executive Officer of Opportunity International Savings and Loans, Mr. Kwame Owusu-Boateng during his opening remarks commended the stakeholders for exceeding all the targets set for the first year of the project. He said, ‘institutions that have stood the test of time are those who are client centric and also by empowering women, we will help to create a lasting impact in our society’.

So far, over 5,032 female smallholder farmers and agricultural business owners in Ghana and DRC representing 42% of the total target of 12,000 have been served with loans, savings, and training with total loan disbursement of over £700,000 to support their agri- businesses.

The impact of ‘The Economic Empowerment of Women’ are already being seen as one client’s daughter, Mahama Nimaku, indicated, “before getting this loan my mother was always torn between giving me my school fees and buying quality seeds and fertiliser.”

It is expected that, at the end of the three year period, 32,000 family members will also benefit from better nutrition, health and education; 50,000 to benefit from a community-wide financial literacy & gender campaign and 10,000 jobs will be created.

Opportunity International is one of the world’s leading microfinance organisations.  It provides access to financial services (savings, small business loans, insurance and training) to more than 8 million people in more than 20 countries across the globe. Opportunity International unlocks the determination, energy and entrepreneurial spirit of men and women living in poverty by empowering and equipping them to reach their full potential.

VisionFund DRC is a fully regulated Microfinance Institution with a deposit taking license.  It seeks to provide opportunities for those in poverty to transform their lives, not only economically, but also socially and spiritually as well as providing credit and savings and clients training on business entrepreneurship, financial literacy, health and gender awareness.

Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans (SASL) is a Non-Banking Financial Institution licensed by the Bank of Ghana to operate as Savings And Loans Company in Ghana for the past 24 years. It is currently serving over 300,000 clients via 44 branches in urban and rural areas in the country’s ten regions. SASL’s agricultural programme extends to all ten regions serving more than 18,000 agricultural actors with 17,000 smallholder farmers.

Opportunity International Savings and Loans (OISL) is a leading savings and loans institution in Ghana and is at the forefront of delivering financial services to help transform the lives of poor people. OISL was licensed by the Bank of Ghana in 2004 and has built a national branch network of 43 outlets with two thirds of the branches in rural locations. It currently serves almost 46,844 borrowers and over 554,477 savers.

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