The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with Vodafone Ghana Foundation has launched the Digital Inclusion Project for Women in Agro-processing in the Upper East Region.
The programme is aimed at ensuring financial inclusion of players in the informal sector in the Bolgatanga, Kassena Nankana and Bawku municipalities and the Bongo district through the deployment of technology.
It also seeks to build the financial and management capacities of 1,500 women working in the rice value chain in the beneficiary assemblies by exposing them to the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to access various forms of formal financial services and products.
Speaking at the launch of the programme in Bolgatanga, CEO of Vodafone Ghana, Patricia Obo-Nai, said, the need for financial inclusion of all forms especially for women SMEs have become necessary in achieving sustainable development goals.
“The project will support women by equipping them with basic skills and training in financial independence, savings, structuring and digital inclusion through our Mobile financial platform Vodafone Cash.
It will also help us to contribute to government agenda of achieving the sustainable development goals 1, 8 and 10, thus, No Poverty, Decent Work and Economic Growth and reduce inequality”.
She said, the programme aims at creating jobs for 10,000 households within a period of two months.
Mrs. Obo-Nai was optimistic the project will address issues of women empowerment and digital inclusion as well as create jobs and improve livelihood.
Economic Advisor of the UNDP, Radhika Lal, commended Vodafone Ghana for the initiative as it will be used to leverage the value chain of women in Agro-processing for improved livelihoods.
She noted that, a high number of subscribers of Mobile Money were persons in the informal sector and thus, the need to integrate them into the formal through technology to rake its benefits.
“For us (UNDP) this partnership is important because we see the value of technology in support of the SDGs and that nobody is left behind. We urge stakeholders to consider these opportunities and challenges so, that such initiatives can be scaled up”.
Upper East Regional Minister, Tangoba Abayage lauded UNDP and Vodafone Ghana for the intervention as it will contribute to boosting beneficiaries’ economic levels and reduced poverty, malnutrition and food insecurity.
She admonished UNDP and Vodafone to monitor the project and make recommendations for scaling up the initiative across the region.