You may have heard the phrase “Making a dollar out of sixteen cents”? Well, this Ghanaian powerhouse, Esther Afua Ocloo took a dollar and made a global enterprise, earned a laureate, and became an inspiration for women worldwise on savvy business dealings.
Poverty and lack did not stop Esther Afua Ocloo from showcasing her brilliance or fulfilling her dreams. She won scholarships to study in her native Ghana; further meriting sponsorship to travel abroad for more education.
The African philosophy of the entire village coming together to raise a child stood Ocloo in good stead.Her aunt raised the money for her travel to get an education, and the investment paid off.
Esther Afua Ocloo was the first person to start a formal food processing business in her area; building up a business supplying marmalade and orange juice to Achimota School.
This same Achimota School sponsored her visit to England between 1949 and 1951, and she blazed a veritable trail of successes and pioneering entrepreneurship.
From food and professional canning to fabric and tie-dye, Esther Afua Ocloo did it all. But this is perhaps not her greatest achievement.
From the 1970s onwards she became involved at a national and international level in the economic empowerment of women.
She was an adviser to the Council of Women and Development from 1976 to 1986, a member of Ghana’s national Economic Advisory Committee from 1978 to 1979 and a member of the Council of State in the Third Republic of Ghana from 1979 to 1981. An adviser to the First World Conference on Women in Mexico in 1975, she promoted the availability of credit to women as a founding member and the first chairman of the Board of Directors of Women World Banking from 1979 to 1985.*
If ever there was a woman worthy of being celebrated, it is this lady here. One woman showed the steely reserve needed to drive herself forward, and took the whole of “womanity” with her.
*Paragraph taken from her Wikipedia page.
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