The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has interacted with some REP clients in the Northern and Upper East regions. The clients include the Tiehisuma (meaning good thoughts) Sheabutter processing Center and Sekaf Ghana Ltd in Sagnerigu District; Hamza Issah, in Savelugu Nanton District; Suweba Abdul Somed in the West Mamprusi District and Vida Naba in Bolgatanga.
The Tiehisuma Sheabutter processing Center was formed in 2005 to produce Sheabutter for both local and export market. It currently works with 360 women and nine other male staff from the Tamale Metropolis, Tolon, Kumbungu and Sagnerigu districts. Apart from Sheabutter, the center also produces various kinds of soap and cosmetics.
Both Sekaf Ghana Ltd and Tiehisuma Sheabutter processing Center were linked by the BAC to SNV Ghana. Later, SNV Ghana supported the two processing centers with various kinds of equipment for Sheanut processing. The BAC also helped the Tiehisuma Sheabutter processing Center to secure an export market for their Sheabutter. At the Tiehisuma Sheabutter processing Center, the Trade and Industry Minister told the leadership of the center that they qualified to become a free zone company. He therefore charged the Ghana Free Zones Board to provide the necessary needed for the center to be granted a free zones status.
On the other hand, Hamza Issah, received loan under REP’s Matching Grant Fund to acquire welding machines to expand his business. Suweba was trained in soap making and business management by REP.
“Until I started this soap making business, which is my only source of livelihood now, I was washing dishes for cooked rice seller. It was out of this that I managed to get something to eat and buy the basic things I needed”, Suweba told Dr. Spio-Garbrah.
Today, Suweba makes a profit of about GH¢200 from every production. The frequency of production however when her retailers pay back her money. Averagely she produces at least once every week.
Dr. Spio Garbrah was accompanied by Mr. Dawarnoba Baeka, Chief Director of MoTI; Kwadwo Twum Boafo, CEO of the Ghana Free Zones Board; directors of MoTI and BAC Heads for Tolon and Kumbungu.