The First Lady of Ghana H.E. Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo working under the Rebecca Foundation established the ‘Terema’ and ‘Because I want to be’ initiatives, aimed at empowering women and young girls whilst addressing issues of gender inequality through education and skills development.

The ‘Because I Want to Be’ program focuses on education for girls. The aim is to ensure that adolescent girls are mentored to remain in school. It also seeks to encourage drop-outs to go back to school if possible or learn some skills. Under the Terema initiative which aims at economic empowerment of women, the Rebecca Foundation has provided skills training in bead and soap making, hair dressing and other income-generating activities.

In the year under review, the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the number of activities planned due to the maintenance of safety protocols, H.E. Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo presented working kits and tools of trade to 180 women on International Women’s Day, to enhance their businesses or start one. Some of these women had just completed a course in soap making. under the Terema initiative. Also, the First Lady, in collaboration with the National Board for Small Scale Industries and the MasterCard Foundation, launched a three year ‘Young Africa Works’ project. The Project targets young graduates, unemployed youth, school drop outs and female owned micro, small and medium enterprises. At this event, the First Lady presented graduates of the Terema initiative who had completed a course in dress making with
sewing machines. Speaking at the 10th Annual Salon Academy, Mrs. Akufo-Addo entreated women to enhance their skills; especially in the accounting and financial management training offered by the Terema initiative, to ensure the success of their businesses. The First Lady advised women on health issues mainly female cancers and HIV.

Quite a few women who were hitherto unemployed have started their own businesses. The ‘Because I want to be’ initiative has mentored
over 15,000 girls in schools and through the Terema initiative over 600 women have received training in various income generating activities.


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