Managing Director of Savanna Fruits Company, Mr. Raphael Gonzalez;
President and Executive Committee Members of the Global Shea Alliance;
Leaders and stakeholders in the shea industry;
Members of the media;
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great joy to join you this morning to hand over this new warehouse and shea butter processing center. I am equally pleased to see the large number of women here today, which is evidence of the leadership role you play in the shea industry, and which women must actively play in all sectors of Ghanaian society to genuinely promote development.
The United States, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), supports these types of key projects to promote economic growth and job creation in Ghana so that young people may build a future of prosperity here at home for the benefit of all citizens and their communities. There’s a well-known African proverb, cited by Ghanaian Scholar Dr. James Kwegyir- Aggrey, which says – “If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a nation.” The shea industry represents one of the most promising opportunities to export unique and quality hand-crafted products made by Ghanaian women to the U.S. consumer market. This initiative is a clear example of partnership that empowers.
These new facilities that we are handing over today will support increased economic opportunities for 600 women. This project is one of 34 warehouses that USAID and the Global Shea Alliance have launched with communities and cooperatives in Ghana over the past three years—-expanding opportunities for 30,000 women. We will continue to find more of these opportunities over the next year to partner with companies, communities and non-profits to drive new opportunities for Ghanaians.
The United States supports President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision to promote “Ghana Beyond Aid.” Through linking U.S. and Ghanaian businesses and entrepreneurs in long-term sustainable commercial relationships, we move that vision one-step closer to reality.
To the women participating today, you are genuine partners for development, the leaders and future of this industry and we look forward to learning about and celebrating your successes in the years to come.
Thank you to our partners for making the results we celebrate today possible, including the Government of Ghana, Global Shea Alliance, Savanna Fruits Company MD, Presbyterian Agricultural Services, district executives, assembly men, chiefs and elders, local women groups, and all the private sector companies and stakeholders who are supporting, in diverse ways, to improve lives and communities.
The United States looks forward to strengthening our partnership with each of you in the years ahead.