U.S. Ambassador Stephanie S. Sullivan has inaugurated a shea butter processing facility and warehouse for the Tiyumtaba Women’s Shea Cooperative of Sorogu, located in the Sagnerigu Municipality in the Northern Region of Ghana.
The new facility, is part of a U.S. Government effort to partner with communities, companies, and non-profit organizations in West Africa to expand economic opportunities for women. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) developed the facility in partnership with the Burt’s Bees brand, owned by American manufacturer, The Clorox Company, and the Ghanaian firm Savannah Fruits Company; the facility will increase incomes for 600 Ghanaian women who collect and process shea nuts.
Ambassador Sullivan applauded the project partners, stating, “The opening of this shea processing and warehouse facility is an important accomplishment that demonstrates what is possible to achieve when we all work together.”
Shea is a primary source of livelihood for women living in northern Ghana and is one of the few agricultural crops where women control their revenue. This project affirms the U.S. Government’s commitment to promote women’s economic empowerment through partnerships that connect Ghanaian women producers with U.S. buyers.
“USAID is working with the Global Shea Alliance, communities, non-profit organizations, and responsible companies, who together since 2016 have provided 250 warehouses, generating increased incomes for more than 137,000 women across West Africa,” Ambassador Sullivan noted.
The Global Shea Alliance’s Sustainable Shea Initiative was launched in 2016 in partnership with USAID.
The $18 million, five-year program promotes the sustainable expansion of the shea industry in Ghana, Benin, Ivory Coast, Togo, Mali, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso. The partnership matches USAID funds with private sector and development partner funds to provide needed skills training and infrastructure to support women shea collectors.