Special Report:10 Top Female Icons of Corporate Ghana to Watch

Mrs. Kate B. Quartey–Papafio, Founder and CEO of Reroy Cables

Dr Theresa Oppong Beeko, CEO Manet

Accra, Ghana, August 2, 2018//-Ghana’s economic success story can never be told without the contribution of its hard working women business leaders operating in all sectors of the economy.

From Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to large scale enterprises, women  are competing with their male counterparts for businesses.

It is not surprising that women themselves have taken the necessary action, steadfastly clawing their way up corporate Ghana’s lauder through sheer diligence, determination, integrity and general capability.

A recent study by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and the State Secretariat of Economic Affairs of Switzerland (SECO), revealed that better performing companies in Ghana tend to have more gender-balanced boards.

The study reviews gender diversity on Ghanaian boards, across various sectors, to provide empirical evidence that guides the development of organizational and national policies intended to promote sustainable company performance and economic growth.

High-performing firms, based on return on assets (ROA) and sales growth, were associated with higher gender diversity than low-performing firms.

The study also revealed that a high number of organizations surveyed did not have a policy on gender representation to guide selection of top management and board positions. Women were found to be generally under-represented in board positions in most companies in Ghana.

However, the few women who are in corporate boardrooms are making significant contributions to the socio-economic development of the country.

African Eye Report in its special report presents a selection of 10 top unbeatable icons of corporate Ghana who have done exceptional than most of their counterparts.

The selection includes some who have done this by setting up and subsequently nurturing their own enterprises to become household brands; and others who have proved so exceptional in terms of their professional capabilities and they have been appointed as managers of entities of corporate Ghana.

It is imperative to acknowledge that the environment for women in corporate Ghana has never been absolute discriminatory, but women have to do more than their male counterparts in order to prove themselves and win the respect and goodwill of their peers, subordinates, customers and the general public.

This has been particularly the case where professional and technical skills are requisite rather than just commercial skills as with trading enterprises and thus we draw our selection from the former.

But we are emphasising that our selection is neither a ranking nor is it exclusive.

Admittedly, many women have stood out across  corporate Ghana for their accomplishments and our selection is simply a cross selection, meant to serve as examples of what so many more women have achieved in recent times in business, enterprise and the professions.

To this end, African Eye Report presents a selection of 10 top unbeatable female icons of corporate Ghana, who have excelled in the management of private businesses, nurturing their respective enterprises they run into leaders of corporate Ghana as a whole.

This selection simply identifies 10 among the many corporate leaders of businesses in the country who standout from the rest.

The selection also depicts the diversity of the leadership strata of corporate Ghana with regards to foreign versus indigenous participation, and sectors of the economy. This second edition is mainly for the female gender.

Here are the 10 top female icons of corporate Ghana

 Mrs. Kate B. Quartey–Papafio

 

Mrs. Kate B. Quartey–Papafio, Founder and CEO of Reroy Cables

 Mrs. Kate B. Quartey–Papafio is a courageous Ghanaian female Industrialist. She is a firm, proactive and resourceful leader who sees risks and challenges as opportunities for growth and development. To her, gender cannot be an excuse for non-performance.

In this regard, Mrs Quartey-Papafio has broken gender barriers to establish a successful business in the country’s electrical and telecommunication cables manufacturing industry, traditionally dominated by men.

Her business is the first cable manufacturer to be run by a woman in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Mrs Quartey-Papafio founded Reroy Cables Limited in 1992 to distribute high quality electrical cables across the country. Today, her company is a major player in the production and supply of power cables, conductors, and the provision of electrical power distribution systems and strategic contract services to the electricity sector in Ghana and other countries in the ECOWAS sub-region.

Due to her hard work and tenacity of purpose, Reroy has expanded its manufacturing capabilities in Ghana to optimize its global business portfolio, and is exploring business ventures across the Sub-Saharan region.

Over the last two decades, Mrs  Quartey-Papafio has led Reroy to build a brand, which has now become synonymous with the core values of excellence, integrity and continuous improvement.

In view of the increasing complexity and dynamic nature of current challenges facing many of the world’s economies, have led Reroy to focus part of her investments on the development of specialized human resource and technological base.

Today, Reroy can confidently boast of a client focused approach underpinned by responsiveness and keen attention to detail as the hallmark of her service delivery.

She embraces diversity and gender balance and, over the years, as the company has grown it has divided into four specialist engineering entities.

These entities are -Reroy Cables Ltd (manufacture of power cables and conductors); Reroy Power Ltd (manufacture, supply and installation of power distribution equipment, transformers and substations); Reroy Metals Ltd (manufacture of aluminium wire rods); and Reroy Energy Ltd (construction and operation of Combined Cycle Gas Turbines power and solar plants).

Awards

 Mrs Quartey-Papafio has received numerous awards in her entrepreneurial journey. These awards include the following listed below.

She was adjudged winner in the Entrepreneurship category at the maiden edition of the Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah African Genius Award adjudged winner in the 2012. Mrs Quartey-Papafio was adjudged  the Best Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2012.

In 2013, Mrs Kate Quartey-Papafio, the  founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Reroy Cables, ended the year 2013 on a brighter note when she was honoured for being one of the entrepreneurs in West Africa with a vision of the future.  She was named the 2013 Ernst & Young West Africa Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

That same year, Mrs Kate Quartey Papafio, was also adjudged the Marketing Woman of the Year at the Silver Jubilee edition of the National Marketing Performance Awards, an initiative of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana (CIMG).

On 12th December, 2015, she was adjudged winner in the Entrepreneurship category at the maiden edition of the Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah African Genius Award.

In the same year, Mrs Quartey-Papafio was awarded and inducted into Entrepreneur Hall of Fame for her outstanding and innovative performance. This award was bestowed on her   by the Ghana Entrepreneur Foundation (GEF).

The European Business Assembly adjudged her the Best Manager in 2016.  At the same ceremony, her company Reroy Cables Ltd was named the Best  Enterprise.

In 2016, Mrs. Kate Quartey Papafio, the Chief Executive Officer of Reroy Group received her award as the Business Woman of the Year at the maiden GEF Excellence Awards.

That same year, Indigenous cable manufacturing giant, Reroy Cables Limited was enrolled into the Ghana Club 100 ranking for the first time at the 15th edition of the awards ceremony held in Accra.

 Madam Angela Kyerematen-Jimoh

Madam Angela Kyerematen-Jimoh, Country Manager for IBM Ghana

With over 18 years’ experience in sales and marketing, Madam Kyerematen-Jimoh started her career in London at GL Trade, a leading French Software Company, where she rose to become the Marketing Manager for London and Northern- Europe.

She later moved to ABN AMRO Futures and Options in London as a Marketing Executive working for the Commodities traders with a focus on marketing to the Hedge Fund community in London.

Prior to returning to Africa, Madam Kyerematen-Jimoh also worked for UBS Investment Bank in London as a Marketing Executive.

In Ghana, she worked for UBA Bank as Head of Prestige Banking and later moved to GT Bank to head the Consumer Banking Division.

Madam Kyerematen-Jimoh joined IBM Ghana in 2011 as Head of Marketing for West Africa. In 2013, she moved to IBM Kenya in Nairobi, heading Strategy for Central, East and West Africa.

She moved back to Ghana in 2015 as the Country Manager for IBM Ghana making her the first female Country General Manager of IBM in Africa. At IBM, she has been responsible for brokering some of the largest deals in both West and East Africa.

Awards

In 2018, Angela was honoured with the Excellence in Business Award at the African Achievers awards in the UK and won the most coveted Woman in Technology of the Year at the 2018 Ghana Information and Technology & Telecom Awards.

She was named Ghana Corporate Personality of the year 2018 by Glitz Africa and was awarded the Information Technology Service CEO of the year for 2017 by the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Ghana.

She was ranked among the top fifty women corporate leaders in Ghana in both 2017 and 2016 by The African Network of Entrepreneurs (TANOE).

Under her leadership at IBM Ghana, a special weekly coding class was instituted for elementary school kids and other children from under privileged background.

The program which currently gives the opportunity to young girls to develop various skills in technology has earned participants contracts to develop websites for top brands in Ghana including Christie Brown fashion house.

Under her management, in 2018, IBM signed an MoU with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Recourses to explore the use of Blockchain in Land registration in Ghana.

In the same year IBM Ghana also signed an MoU with the Ministry of Education to roll out IBM’s Digital Nation Africa program across public Senior High Schools in Ghana.

This program seeks to provide IBM education in software coding, cloud & cognitive computing, data science and cybersecurity free of charge to thousands of Ghanaian youth, building their IT skills and making them competitive participants in the job market and effective contributors to the nation’s development.

Angela is a graduate of Harvard Business School in Leadership Development, holds an MSc in International Business, BA in Marketing and French and is a product of Achimota College and Wesley Girls High School in Ghana.

Mrs Akua Afriyie Sarpong-Ayisi

Mrs Akua Afriyie Sarpong-Ayisi, CEO of Unique Floral

The story of Ghana’s burgeoning floral industry can never be told without mentioning the contributions of Mrs Akua Afriyie Sarpong-Ayisi to its growth. She is accredited as one of the industry pioneers.

Mrs Sarpong-Ayisi turned her love for flowers and the satisfaction she drove from helping people to beautifully decorate their rooms and places of work into a big lucrative business.

Her company-Unique Floral which she set up after dropping high paying job at Ghana Airways, is now the leading floral retailing company in Ghana.

Mrs Sarpong-Ayisi is currently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Unique Floral Limited.  the company has gone a significant transformation-evolving from a small container shop in Cantonments, a suburb of Accra to a giant player in the floral and events industry in Ghana, West Africa, and even beyond.

The company which celebrated its 25th anniversary some few years ago has specialized in providing an array of extensive silk flowers, floral accessories and exquisite interior decorating pieces.

Besides, through her dynamic and visionary leadership, Unique Floral is a top and highly-reputed  planning and decoration company with two exclusive events centres in Accra and Tema.

Furthermore, company imports fresh-cut flowers weekly from Europe and other African countries including South Africa to complement its 20-acre flower farm located in Eastern Region of Ghana.

Mrs Sarpong-Ayisi’s start up journey story is not different from many entrepreneurs but her ambition and passion to provide best quality flowers and decor services to millions of people is laudable.

Her rich experience, commitment, tenacity, diligent and zeal to transform the flower industry in the West African second largest economy after Nigeria depicts Mrs Sarpong-Ayisi’s exceptional contribution in the industry.

As an indomitable entrepreneur, she used her unique ingenuity in floral and events planning sector to create employment for the teeming youth population in the country.

Also, in her bid to give back to society what society gave her, Mrs Sarpong-Ayisi has trained thousands of people to become business owners like herself and help the floral industry in Ghana to grow.

She believes that a happy and well-resourced staff retain customers. In this regard, Mrs Sarpong-Ayisi continues to invest immensely in human resource development and training of her staff.

As an astute entrepreneur, she has never allowed the varying headwinds to sway her and her dependable team; instead she turned the challenges into opportunities for improvement.

Awards  

By virtue of the company’s unique attributes namely-unparalleled performance, competitive pricing, quality assurance and world-class decoration and events planning, Unique Floral has propelled onto the international scene.

The company has won several local and international contracts and organized decor for multi-national firms including CNN and the British Council.

In Mrs Sarpong-Ayisi own words: “Since our existence, we are able to win a number of awards and we also done very high-profile events or jobs both locally and internationally including CNN African awards night held in Ghana some years ago.”

Also, the company organized successful weddings for former President Kufuor’s son and the son and daughter of  late Vice President Aliu Mahama.

Unique Floral has also won many laurels during its 25 years of existence including the following-Excellence in Event Award (2014), by the Africa Wedding and Events Convention for their professionalism and dedication to excellence; Top Emergence Brand Award (2013), by the Centre for Brand Analyses (TCBA) on the confirmation that Unique has exhibited great development towards excellence in branding

Hon Sarah Adwoa Sarfo

Hon Sarah Adwoa Sarfo, Minister of Procurement 

Her new job as the Minister of Procurement has been beneficial to the country as she diligently works to save the country a whopping amount of GH¢1.6 billion through sole sourcing and restrictive tendering, within 18 months.

Hon Adwoa Sarfo’s success at the new ministry created by the Akufo-Addo-led government is due to the strict adherence to the laws of the country.

“In 2017 alone, we were able to save this nation a whooping sum of 800 million Ghana Cedis through strict application of the procurement law in the use of single source and restrictive tendering as a method of procurement”, she said on Thursday, June 21, in Accra.

Hon Awoa Sarfo who is also the Deputy Majority Leader of Parliament of Ghana noted that the ministry’s ultimate goal is to eliminate corruption and fraudulent procurement processes.

Also, Hon Adwoa Sarfo since her appointment has been embarking on reforms aim at improving public procurement in the West African country.

She is also the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for the Dome-Kwabenya Constituency of the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. Ms Adwoa Sarfo is a professional lawyer of good standing.

Hon Adwoa Sarfo holds a first degree from the University of Ghana as a an LLM from the George Washington University, U.S. She was a nominee for the Nobles Forum Award in 2012.

Ms Yolanda Zoleka Cuba

Ms Yolanda Zoleka Cuba, CEO Vodafone Ghana

Ms Yolanda Zoleka Cuba is the first female to become the Chief Executive Office of Vodafone Ghana. She took office on 1st May 2016. Since then she has been working  hard with her to chart a new direction for the telecom firm.

Under her watch, the company continues to record growth in subscribers. The National Communications Authority’s monthly data on voice call and data has shown that Ms Cuba’s effort is paying off.

Until her appointment, Ms Cuba was the Strategy and New Business Director for Vodacom Group, having joined the company in November 2014.

Ms Cuba who is a South African national also previously worked as Executive Director, Strategy & Business Support at South African Breweries Limited (‘SAB’) and as Group CEO of the publicly listed Mvelaphanda Group.

Her appointment came at a crucial time Ghana’s telecoms industry in Ghana; with mobile money and Machine-2-Machine set to dictate the pace of growth in the years ahead.

Vodafone Ghana says the company is well placed to capture these growth opportunities and to benefit more broadly from Ms Cuba’s considerable commercial and strategic experience.

Awards

She has received several awards in her career, including Top Empowered Business Woman of the Year by Top Companies in 2006; and Youth Excellence award by the Black Management Forum in 2007.

She was also selected as one of the Young Global Leaders in 2008, an initiative by the World Economic Forum and named as one of the “20 Youngest Power Women in Africa” by Forbes Magazine in 2011.

Ms Cuba holds degrees in Statistics and Accounting from the Universities of Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal. She is also an alumna of INSEAD International Executive Programme.

Ms Esther Cobbah

Ms Esther Cobbah, CEO Stratcomm Africa

Esther Cobbah is the Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Communications Africa Ltd (Stratcomm Africa), a leading  total communications and reputation management agency dedicated to using communication strategies as a means of enhancing performance.

The company was established with the aim of facilitating development, promoting effective communication among corporates and their stakeholders and facilitating general harmonious coexistence..

She has been holding the position since October 2001. It all started in 1994, with an idea and a passion crystallizing into the vision of an entrepreneur.

Ms Cobbah is a communications specialist of international repute who believes that communications could play an important role in facilitating development in Ghana and Africa, generally.

She observed that development projects were often undertaken without much communication between the project initiators, whether government, a development agency or a corporate body, without communication with intended beneficiaries in the relevant communities.

There seemed more focus on the bricks and mortar than on the human mind through which the value of a development project had to be processed. Communication could make a difference, she was convinced!

Originally established as the Centre for Development and Intercultural Communication (CEDIC Ltd.), Stratcomm Africa, started off in a small home office with a study table. It has grown from those small beginnings to emerge as a leader in Ghana’s communication industry located now in a modern office building in central Accra, Ghana’s capital city.

Under her dynamic leadership, Ms Cobbah turned the company into the leading public relations company in the country. Her company has provided communications consultant services to almost all the big companies in Ghana. Her services are always sought after by government and potential investors coming into the country.

Today, Strategic Communications Africa is proudly over 20 years old, and is celebrating an existence which has not only benefited over 100 clients and provided employment for numerous people but has also contributed to the development of the communications industry in Ghana and to social and economic development of Ghana and the African continent at large.

Stratcomm Africa covers areas such as corporate communications, Research, Reputation Management, and Brand Management in addition to development communication.

Stratcomm Africa’s communications expertise was soon widely appreciated by development agencies as well as governmental institutions, individuals and corporate bodies in Ghana, and before long our services extended across several industries such as Aviation, Telecommunications, Finance, Agriculture, Fast Moving Consumer Goods industry, and the natural resource extraction industry.

Being a company that believes in growth and development, Stratcomm Africa is spreading out from deep local roots, using its international expertise and wide experience to expand into other countries on the African continent.

In whatever context it is operating , Stratcomm Africa seeks to ensure that modern communication’s exciting methodologies and practices are culturally sensitive and applied effectively through close attention to Africa’s cultural settings.

Awards

She has won various awards including the Public Relations (PR) Personality of the Year 2013. Her excellent communications works for local and international brands were recognized by the Institute of Public Relations Ghana.

Previously, Ms Cobbah has worked as a consultant for numerous organizations in a variety of sectors, and in each case has developed and implemented effective communication strategies to support their work.

She has a keen understanding of the value of effective communication processes for national development and international understanding, and she is constantly exploring effective communications strategies to promote innovation and enhance public awareness.

She is also a Director of Centre for the Development and Intercultural Communication (CEDIC), a non-profit organization. In addition to her first degree at the University of Ghana, Legon, she has also earned graduate degrees from both the University of Ghana, Legon and Cornell University.

Dr Theresa Oppong Beeko

Dr Theresa Oppong Beeko, CEO Manet

Dr Theresa Oppong Beeko  is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Manet Incorporated, the fastest-growing real estate development company in the country.

She is an undoubtedly entrepreneur par excellence of no mean measure and cheerful giver with a big heart towards humanitarian causes. With all these achievements following through her thumb, Dr Theresa Oppong Beeko is a great personality who no Ghanaian can arguably beat.

The advice, expertise, experience and wisdom of this indomitable star achiever are being sought for locally and internationally.

She has overcome the challenges of being in a notoriously tricky industry and the inevitable gender barriers of being a woman in a male-dominated industry to blaze on entrepreneurial trail that has proved hard to follow.

Despite her middle-age, this amazing woman has been at the forefront of real estate development and the hospitality industry in Ghana for well over a decade, after raising the bar with regards to the standards the industry has adhered to.

Today, Dr Beeko sits astride the huge Manet Group which comprises Manet Housing, a real estate development firm, Manet Beach Paradise, a three star Hotel Resort, Manet Construction Limited, a Civil Engineering Company and Manet Towers Ltd. which developed the Twin Tower office edifice at the Airport City in Accra.

All this is the result of Dr Beeko’s inspired and daring entrepreneurship, professional skill, sheer vision and perhaps most of all perseverance. Actually, it is the latter quality which she regards as the most important in navigating the often treacherous waters of entrepreneurship.

In her own words: “Once you are determined that your business ideal will work, it will work, as long as you persevere prudently and diligently pursuing it”.

That is a lesson she learnt very early in life and one that has proved invaluable since then. Immediately after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Ghana, Legon in 1985, she went into her first business venture, fishing, and failed leaving her with debt equivalent to USD 2.5 million at the age of twenty-five.

Unperturbed , she went back to Legon, acquired a Masters in Business Administration (where she was declared Best Marketing Student in 1990). Dr Beeko then began pursuing her real dream of constructing buildings.

“The lesson I had learnt was that I did not persevere in my first business effort. Now, I know that determination and perseverance is the key to success. She established Manet Housing Limited in 1994 and since then has built over 1,200 houses, making Manet the second-largest real estate development company in Ghana.

“I am pleased that I have been able to provide beautiful homes for the middle income households” she enthuses. “So instead of yuppies having to keep paying rent to landlords they now own their own homes”, she stated.

In 1998, Dr Beeko established Manet Hotels Limited, which acquired a beach Resort at Ada, just outside of Accra and developed it into a three-star, 48 room hotel with an amazing array of recreational and leisure activities on offer including Aqua sport and marlin fishing.

It is now fittingly known as Manet Paradise & Beach resort. “I bought the facility because it was owned by a German who run it as an elitist resort mostly for foreigners to the exclusion of Ghanaians” explains.

Dr Beeko: “When I secured it I quickly brought down prices, and introduced local foods to go alongside international cuisine. I believe good things are not meant for the rich alone.”

Next came a diversion of sorts with the establishment of Manet Construction Limited, primarily a civil engineering company that has specialized in the construction of urban roads and other related infrastructure such as drains, culverts, and high rise edifice around the nation’s capital, Accra.

But Dr Beeko’s most spectacular venture is her latest – two high rise office blocks in the heart of Accra’s emergent Airport City, known as Manet Twin Towers. Each office block is nine storey high, each floor of each block having ample, well appointed office space for a discerning company with deep pockets to match its elegant tastes and quickly occupied by UT Bank, while the other was occupied by Vodafone in January 2010.

She is more focused as an entrepreneur. It is instructive that although the Manet Group is a diversified group of companies they nearly all have the same theme running through their operations – providing accommodation of one sort or the other.

Asked once, while receiving a golden star award in Nigeria why she did not bid for oil exploration and drilling blocks, she famously replied: “I am into accommodation and I will be there to provide it.”

This tenacity of purpose seed sowed by Dr Beeko has germinated and grew to become nerve centre of the country’s real estate industry.

Today, Dr Beeko as well as her conglomerates has become a household name not only in Ghana but abroad. This meteoritic rise has been chalked due to Dr Beeko’s unparalleled business acumen, sheer determination and the zeal to create several employment opportunities for the teeming youth people in the country.

As an entrepreneur, Dr Beeko never allowed the different headwinds to weigh her and her dependable team down. She rather turns those challenges into gold opportunities.

Awards

Dr Beeko deservedly has impressive array of awards, conferred on her in recognition of her sterling track record as an exemplary entrepreneur. She was voted Best Marketing Student, at University of Ghana in 1990 and nine years later, Marketing Woman of the Year by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana.

The following year she was named as a Year 2010 Honoree of the International Who’s Who Professional and Business Women. Ghana Society for The Blind’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations (1951-2001) awarded her the Highest Individual Donor.

Ghana’s Ministry of Education, Youth & Sports in July 2004 awarded her an Honorary Member of CAN 2008 Ghana Bid Committee.

Other awards she won are: Property Personality of the Year 2007;  recipient of the 8Th National Tourism Awards 2008 (Ghana Tourist Board) West Africa Hall of Fame Security Excellence Award (2007-08); a Member of the West African Nobles Forum (Group of Eminent West Africans 2008; Property Personality of the Year 2010 (Ghana Property Express); and Ghana’s Indigenous Woman Entrepreneur of the Year 2010.

The rest include:  In 2013, she was awarded the most outstanding woman of the year by WOMAN 21 GAME CHANGERS. Also in the same year, CEO HOLDING awarded Dr. Theresa Oppong Beeko as Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Business and Government (Overall Winner for Africa in the Industries Category).

At the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Prempeh College (Amanfoo), she received an award with this citation: ” In appreciation of your ingenuity and sustained role in the development of Real Estate and for helping to reduce the acute housing shortage in the country”.

In 2002, the University of Ghana – Legon, conferred on her Honorary Doctorate Degree for her contribution in her field.

Christiana Ekaete Olaoye

Mrs Christiana Ekaete Olaoye ,Managing Director/CEO of Energy Bank Ghana

Christiana Ekaete Olaoye is the Managing Director/CEO of Energy Commercial Bank Limited, one of the leading banks operating in Ghana.

Under her leadership, the bank’s assets and customers have been growing to the admiration of the shareholders of the bank. While its branches have shot up to 14 spreading from the Greater Accra, Western through Ashanti to Northern regions.

In addition to these, Mrs Olaoye has taken pragmatic measures to modernise and network bank’s operations across the country. She also upped the bank’s point-of -sale devices (POS) for the delight of her customers.

Mrs Olaoye is hoping to expand the branches of the bank to other regions of the country in the coming years.

She joined Energy Commercial Bank in April 2016 with over 30 years of post – qualification banking experience spanning various banking organizations in Nigeria and overseas.

Mrs Olaoye started her banking career in November 1983, gaining experience in various areas that cut across corporate and commercial banking, corporate finance, credit origination and management, loan syndications, import and export trade finance, domestic and foreign operations, liability and asset management, private banking and wealth management as well as relationship management.

She started her career as an Executive Trainee at IMB (Nigeria) Limited, and rose through the ranks to become the Executive Director, Business Development at FBN Bank (UK) Limited.

In her last role at First Bank of Nigeria limited, she headed the International Banking Department, and was one of the key persons responsible for the establishment of the African subsidiaries in Ghana, Gambia, Senegal, Sierra Leone and the democratic Republic of Congo.

Mrs Olaoye has had over 15 years of senior management experience working across countries and teams in sub-Saharan Africa, the United Kingdom, France, China, South Africa and the UAE, and building partnerships for strategic growth.

Mrs Olaye is multi-lingual, speaking English and French, and more than one of the many Nigerian Languages.

She holds a Bachelor of Art in Language, an MBA in Banking & Finance, and has attended courses and programs at top business schools around the world.

Awards

In August 2017, Mrs Olaoye was adjudged the Most Outstanding Foreign Banking Executive in Ghana by the Feminine Ghana Achievement Award organised by the Business Executive, a monthly business magazine.

In that same year,  she was recognized by the All Africa Media Network endorsed by UNESCO for her immense dynamic leadership par excellence and in-depth knowledge in management.

Mrs Olaoye also received another award for being among the Top 50 Corporate Women Leaders in Ghana in 2016.

She was recognized by The African Network of Entrepreneurs (TANOE), organizers of WomanRising, a leading African network, for her contribution towards the development of professional women and men in the Ghanaian economy as well as her enormous dynamic leadership.

Furthermore, Mrs Olaoye, placed second in the latest ‘Ghana Banking CEO’s Media Coverage Index’ in August 2017, conducted by the Centre for Media Analysis (CMA).

Ghana Banking CEO Media Coverage Index is a monthly and quarterly assessment designed to ascertain the media coverage of Chief Executives of banking institutions in the country and to evaluate their public visibility and its impact on their respective brands.

Mrs Theresa Ayoade

Mrs Theresa Ayoade, CEO of Charter House Ghana

You cannot write about the growth and development of Ghana’s music industry without mentioning  Mrs Theresa Ayoade, the Chief Executive Officer of Charter House Ghana, one of the leading event management companies in Ghana.

Through her leadership, Charterhouse Ghana which celebrated its 20 years has become a giant company comprising Multiple concepts advertising, Charterhouse productions, and media edge.

Having been in existence since 2000, company has built a strong and vibrant brand that has immensely contributed to shaping the events and entertainment landscape in Ghana.

As a one stop production house, it has developed the capacity to manage and produce any event or production of any size, in any part of the world, in either outdoor or indoor venues.

Charterhouse is noted for five annual entertainment event platforms, namely, Ghana Music Awards, Night of 1000 Laughs and Music Series (which runs in August and December), Ghana Rocks and Barney Live in Ghana.

The company’s corporate expertise ranges from Small and Medium to Large Events, such as Product Launches, Conferences, Seminars, exhibitions, Banqueting events, awards nights, Concerts and experiential marketing activations.

Ayisha Fuseini

Ayisha Fuseini, Founder and CEO of Asheba Enterprise 

Ayisha Fuseini who was recently nominated for this year’s MTN Heroes of Change is using her shea butter processing business to lift hundreds of women out of poverty in the Northern Region.

She has been working with a co-operative of women to produce shea butter for her value-added products for local, national, and international markets.

Ms Fuseini who is the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Asheba Enterprise, is currently receiving raw shea butter from 10 communities and working with a co-operative of around over 600 women in rural Ghana, who produce the raw shea butter for her enterprise.

She supplies shea butter, which is fatty extract from the kernel of a shea-nut to companies in Europe, U.S, and Asia to use as replacement for cocoa butter to make food products, soaps, medicine and cosmetics due to its moisturizing and healing abilities.

Through her Asheda enterprise, Ms Fuseini was able to lobby for women to be paid well for their labour in the Northern, Upper East and Upper regions of Ghana, where shea butter processing is one of the main occupations of the women.

Ms Fuseini also produces shea pomade and a number of other products which she sells on the local and the national markets.

Previously, shea-nut was only popular in northern Ghana, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and other parts of West Africa , where the oil made from it was used to for food and skin protection in the dry season.

A number of women in the 10 communities and the over 600 women in rural Ghana are making lives out of her project.

They said: “We are so grateful to Ayisha for what she has done for us (women). Now we don’t just stay at home because we also provide for our families. We used to produce half bag of shea nut even with a lot of manpower. After production, how to get it sold was also another task.

We eventually made nothing out of it. Now, we can make about five quantity bags of shea butter with an awaiting market. God bless Ayisha”.

Besides providing employment and ready-market for the women, Ms Fuseini is also transferring her knowledge and skills in shea butter processing to them.

In addition to these, she is providing financial literacy training to the young women she works with, and to her peers in her Surogu community in the Northern Region. She is well-respected in the community, the region and the country at large.

In 2012, she received funding  from “Campaign For Female Education” (CAMFED) under the MasterCard Foundation’s “Enovation Bursary Project to grow the shea butter business idea.

In August 2015, Ms Fuseini was among the 16 women selected by the government of Ghana to receive Youth Enterprise Support (YES). That amount of money was used to expand her shea butter processing business.

In view of her significant contribution to the reduction of poverty among her people,  Ms Fuseini was nominated to participate in this year’s MTN Heroes of Change IV.

The MTN Heroes of Change  which is MTN Ghana Foundation flagship project was initiated in July 2013 to recognise and reward persons who have provided significant humanitarian services to their communities through personal sacrifices. 

The MTN Ghana Foundation is the corporate social responsibility (CRS) arm of MTN Ghana, the leading telecoms services provider in the country.

Ms Fuseini’s unheard project was highlighted on the TV reality programme. She is looking at expanding the project to other parts of the country but that dream is being hampered by the lack of funds.

 By Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh, African Eye Report

Email: mk68008@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

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