It is nicely regarded that in Ghana several of the most successful business owners and wealthiest people are females. They are popular for dominating specified sectors of the economy, possessing hundreds of taxis, tipper vans and fishing boats. On a scaled-down scale, girls are commonly associated in buying and selling, food items processing and some craft industries. From the time that the Know-how Consultancy Centre (TCC) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Know-how (KNUST), Kumasi, opened on 11 January 1972, a lot of of the men and women contacting for assist to update their enterprises were females. Nevertheless in the broad casual industrial spot, Suame Magazine, Kumasi, with its 1000’s of workshops and tens of countless numbers of master craftsmen and apprentices, there was not a one female engaged in any engineering activity, and it was not right until the 1990s that a major work was built to modify the predicament.

In the early times of the TCC some of the most profitable firms assisted by college consultants ended up owned and operate by women of all ages. Mrs Clara Appiah productively made Afro-wigs from sisal hemp fibre from 1972 until finally her untimely demise in 1974. Madam Offeh played a major job in her husband’s animal feed business, set up as they typically remarked during the United Nations Worldwide Women’s Year (1975), and Vera Gambrah ran a thriving soap earning small business until the smaller scale marketplace was obliterated by IMF dictates in 1985. Encouraged by these early successes, several more gals arrived forward with modest sector initiatives to just take benefit of new technologies becoming offered by the TCC in textiles and foodstuff processing. Soon after the introduction of fashionable beekeeping in the early 1980s many gals became associated in creating little apiaries. From its founding in 1975, this initiative to require extra women in small scale enterprise was greatly encouraged and supported by the Nationwide Council of Females and Growth (NCWD), but during the 1970s and 1980s only a single girl arrived ahead to the TCC in Kumasi with an curiosity in setting up an engineering enterprise, and she was not from Suame Journal but from Tema.

Tema is about 300 kilometres from Kumasi on the south coastline, east of Accra. Initially a smaller fishing village, Tema was designed by the govt of Kwame Nkrumah (1957 – 1966) into a present day harbour managing most of Ghana’s imports. This progress attracted lots of industries, massive and tiny. In this much more progressive natural environment, Georgina Degbor had trained as a centre lathe turner. She arrived to the TCC in Kumasi in 1986 with a ask for to be allotted one of the employed Colchester Triumph centre lathes envisioned to arrive just before the stop of the year. Georgina’s capabilities ended up assessed at the Suame Intermediate Know-how Transfer Device (ITTU) and the determination was taken to assistance her commence her personal modest engineering enterprise. Even so, as Georgina lived in Tema, the subject was passed to the Tema ITTU when the Free of charge Task started out there in February 1987. She set up her equipment in workshop space hired from the ITTU and became a role design demonstrating to other younger gals that engineering craft competencies ended up no more time a male protect. With another qualified woman technician, Elizabeth Asiamah, on the ITTU personnel, it was not extended in advance of the Tema ITTU was attracting girls as very well as boys onto its apprenticeship programme.

In 1987, the Free of charge Challenge took over the Tamale ITTU from the TCC. It amazed numerous seasoned engineering instructors that in this distant northern outpost, with its primarily rural setting, girls arrived ahead to apply for complex apprenticeships on an equal scale to Tema. The first technology of apprentices in Tema and Tamale served their time, and most of them went on to set up their own workshops, possibly as sole proprietorships or with two or 3 artisans in partnership. The progress of women of all ages in engineering was constant but slow, so in the mid-1990s the TCC joined with Intermediate Technologies Ghana (ITGhana), a Tema-primarily based NGO, to mount a ‘Women in Engineering’ undertaking supported by the Intercontinental Labour Organisation (ILO).

Younger women who had graduated from the ITTU apprenticeship programme ended up recruited to have out a nationwide survey of engineering enterprises and complex universities to determine the gals who ended up presently capable or underneath schooling in an engineering craft. At the same time workshop entrepreneurs and master craftsmen had been inspired to recruit apprentices of equally genders and commonly to participate in the Ladies in Engineering venture. The job culminated in a countrywide discussion board, held in the British Council Corridor in Accra, attended by governing administration officials, technical instructors, workshop house owners and most of the female professionals and apprentices identified by the study. A central aspect of the forum was the presentation of the everyday living tales of some of the revolutionary girls workshop owners. The occasion was regarded as a important success it was nicely documented in the media, alerted govt to the problem and the opportunity and transformed the mind-set of a lot of male workshop house owners. The engineering sector in Ghana might not have turn into an equal chance employer overnight but a considerable stage experienced been taken in that way.