The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Vodafone Ghana Foundation has organised a two-day trainer of trainees’ digital technology empowerment workshop for 61 rural women engaged in agribusiness in the Upper East Region.
The participants were drawn from the Bolgatanga, Kassena-Nankana Municipals , Bongo and Bawku West Districts in the region.
Dubbed, “leveraging technology to bring the informal to formal”, the workshop with support from Access Bank and facilitated by the Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana, a local Non-Governmental organisation, is to build the capacity of the women to take advantage of the technological revolution to ensure digitisation and financial inclusion.
Made up of leaders of various groups , the participants were trained on how to use their mobile phones to save, transact businesses and access formal banking services to improve their livelihoods.
Briefing the media in Bolgatanga at the end of training, on Wednesday, the Economic Analyst of the UNDP, Ms Sylvia Senu, explained that the project was further aimed at empowering the participants who are mostly into farming and agro-processing including rice parboiling to harness the mobile technology to run resilient and profitable businesses so as to increase production, bridge digital gaps and improve income levels
He stated that the two-year project which was launched a year ago, envisaged to empower about 2,000 poor rural women in the above mentioned four geographical areas in the region.
The Economic Analyst noted that the world was evolving at a faster pace with the help of technological revolution, hence the need to assist the women to upscale their knowledge and skills on the use of the mobile technology.
The Head of Vodafone Ghana Foundation, Reverend Amaris Nana Adjei Perbi, , noted that his outfit was committed to supporting the country’s efforts at achieving the SDGs through financial inclusion and improving livelihoods especially among rural dwellers.
He indicated that as part of the training to improve on the use of the mobile phones to transact businesses, including payment of bills among others, all the beneficiary women had been given SIM cards to help them manage their savings, prevent theft and improve productivity.
The Team Lead of Financial Inclusion and Women Banking of Access Bank , Mr Mac-Neil Bruce, explained that Access Bank had created customer-centric products to help reduce the physical transaction process and its associated challenges.
He added that Access Bank had created accounts for each beneficiary woman as well as group accounts for their various cooperatives, adding that the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic had made digital technology more relevant in the financial sector.
Mrs Gilberta Akuka, leader of the Sungit-Mas Women Group, farming and trading group at Sapeliga in the Bawku West District, said that the project had improved on their financial status.