UNDP, Vodafone Train Women in Agri-Business On Digital Banking

By Constance Evans-Kekrebesi

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with Vodafone Ghana, Access Bank and Youth Harvest Foundation, has empowered women engaging in agri-business in the Upper East Region on how to harness mobile technology for digital and financial inclusion.

This is to enable them to adequately utilize mobile technology as a digital transformational tool to increase performance, as well as run a profitable business to increase production and improve income levels.

The program which was dubbed: “Bringing the Informal to the Formal through Technology”, was aimed at empowering women to run strong and profitable businesses and bridge the digital gap.

This development is in line with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9 for which the UNDP in collaboration with its partners aimed at achieving.

The programme saw over 60 women benefit from different training sessions, with the first training equipping them with the requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes that would enable them to run strong and profitable businesses and become better money managers.

The training comes in handy as most of the women relied on Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs), where they save money in boxes that are usually locked with three padlocks for security.

Though this system was beneficial to the women, they experienced issues of poor and inaccurate records keeping.

According to Gilberta Akoka, Leader of Sungitmas Women Group in Sapelga in Bawku West District of the Upper East region, “I have learned to separate business money from family money, and I stopped impulse buying. I also just don’t go for loans because others are collecting, so I will say the first training has helped a lot.”

As such this training helped them keep records of contributions made by their members.

The second training was facilitated by Vodafone Ghana where the women were given sim cards and trained on how to operate their mobile wallets. Access Bank also provided them with bank accounts that were linked to their mobile wallets to enable the women to receive and send money to their members’ mobile wallets in the comforts of their homes.

The trained women are expected to train over 2000 members on the knowledge received on business development, basic accounting and how to use the digital saving platforms. This is to help secure their finances and improve the profitability of their small businesses, to the benefit of more than 10,000 household members.

Source: Ghana Today

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