Esther Afua Ocloo
Esther Afua Nkulenu
18 April 1919
|Died||8 February 2002 82) (aged|
|Cause of death||Pneumonia|
|Known for||Pioneer of microlending and campaigner for economic empowerment of women|
Esther Afua Ocloo (born Esther Afua Nkulenu, 18 April 1919 – 8 February 2002) was a Ghanaian entrepreneur and pioneer of microlending, a program of making small loans in order to stimulate businesses.
Ghana, officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa. Spanning a land mass of 238,535 km2 (92,099 sq mi), Ghana is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in the south. Ghana means "Warrior King" in the Soninke language.
She was one of the founders of Women's World Banking in 1976, with Michaela Walsh and Ela Bhatt. Ocloo served as its first chair of trustees. She received the 1990 African Prize for Leadership and numerous other honours for her work on behalf of economic empowerment of women and families. She was a member of Unity Worldwide Ministries.
Women's World Banking (WWB) is a nonprofit organization that provides strategic support, technical assistance and information to a global network of 40 independent microfinance institutions (MFIs) and banks that offer credit and other financial services to low-income entrepreneurs in the developing world, with a particular focus on women. The WWB network serves 24 million micro-entrepreneurs in 28 countries worldwide, of which 80 percent are women. It is the largest global network of microfinance institutions and banks in terms of number of clients, and the only one that explicitly designates poor women as the focus of its mission.
Ela Ramesh Bhatt is an Indian cooperative organiser, activist and Gandhian, who founded the Self-Employed Women's Association of India (SEWA) in 1972, and served as its general secretary from 1972 to 1996. She is the current Chancellor of the Gujarat Vidyapith. A lawyer by training, Bhatt is a part of the international labour, cooperative, women, and micro-finance movements and has won several national and international awards, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award (1977), Right Livelihood Award (1984) and the Padma Bhushan (1986).
Afua Nkulenu was born in the Volta Region to George Nkulenu, a blacksmith, and his wife Georgina, a potter and farmer, both of the Ewe people. Sent by her grandmother to a Presbyterian primary school, the girl advanced to a coeducational boarding school at Peki Blengo. Because of poverty, she traveled weekly from home to the school, taking food supplies each week which she cooked for herself to avoid expenses. When she won a scholarship to Achimota School, her aunt provided her with money to travel to the school. She studied there from 1936 to 1941, when she obtained the Cambridge School Certificate.
Volta Region, is one of Ghana's ten administrative regions, with Ho designated as its capital. It is located west of Republic of Togo and to the east of Lake Volta. Divided into 25 administrative districts, the region is multi-ethnic and multilingual, including groups such as the Ewe, the Guan, and the Akan peoples. The Guan peoples include the Lolobi, Likpe, Akpafu, Buem, and Nkonya people, et al.
The Ewe people are an African ethnic group. The largest population of Ewe people is in Ghana with (3.3m) people, and the second largest population in Togo with (2m) people. They speak the Ewe language which belongs to the Niger-Congo Gbe family of languages. They are related to other speakers of Gbe languages such as the Fon, Gen, Phla Phera, and the Aja people of Togo and Benin.
Achimota School, is a co-educational boarding school located at Achimota in Accra, Greater Accra, Ghana. The school was founded in 1924 by Sir Frederick Gordon Guggisberg, Dr. James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey and the Rev. Alexander (Alec) Garden Fraser. It was formally opened in 1927 by Sir Frederick Guggisberg, then Governor of the British Gold Coast colony. Achimota, modelled on the British public school system, was the first mixed-gender school to be established on the Gold Coast.
Nkulenu was the first person to start a formal food processing business in the Gold Coast; she built up a business supplying marmalade and orange juice to Achimota School and the RWAFF.After getting her business established, she was sponsored by Achimota College to visit and study in England from 1949 to 1951. She was the first person of African ancestry to obtain a cooking diploma from the Good Housekeeping Institute in London and to take the post-graduate Food Preservation Course at Long Ashton Research Station, Department of Horticulture, Bristol University. She returned to Ghana. She had also married and started a family.
The Gold Coast was a British colony on the Gulf of Guinea in west Africa from 1867 to its independence as the nation of Ghana in 1957.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
London is the capital and largest city of the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
Ocloo worked at expanding her business. She traveled to England in 1956 to develop recipes for commercial canning. To overcome prejudice in Ghana against locally produced goods, she formed a manufacturers' association and helped organise the first "Made-in-Ghana" goods exhibition in 1958. Encouraged by President Kwame Nkrumah, she was elected as the first President of what became the Federation of Ghana Industries, serving from 1959 to 1961. In 1964 Ocloo was the first Ghanaian woman to be appointed as Executive Chairman of the National Food and Nutrition Board of Ghana. In the mid-1960s she expanded her activities into the tie and dye textile business.
Kwame Nkrumah PC was a Ghanaian politician and revolutionary. He was the first Prime Minister and President of Ghana, having led the Gold Coast to independence from Britain in 1957. An influential advocate of pan-Africanism, Nkrumah was a founding member of the Organisation of African Unity and winner of the Lenin Peace Prize in 1962.
From the 1970s onwards Ocloo worked at a national and international level in the economic empowerment of women. She was appointed as 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. She was an adviser to the First World Conference on Women in Mexico in 1975.
The Council of State in Ghana is a small body of prominent citizens, analogous to the Council of Elders in the traditional political system, which advises the President on national issues.
Following that, she promoted the availability of credit to women, with small loans known as micro-credit, to stimulate their ability to found businesses. Making such loans to women was found to strengthen their ability to provide economically for their children and develop their families. Ocloo was a founding member and the first chairman of the Board of Directors of Women's World Banking from 1979 to 1985.
Ocloo was a founding member of religious groups such as the Evangelical Presbyterian (E.P.) Church in Madina (a suburb of Accra) and the Unity Group of Practical Christianity (Ghana) associated with Unity Worldwide Ministries. She also assisted in forming a women’s group, known as Bible Class, in the E.P. Church, with the aim of studying the Bible and home management. She served on the synod committee of the E.P. Church for 12 years.
Esther married Stephen Ocloo and they had four children together: daughter Vincentia Canacco, and three sons, Vincent Malm, Christian Biassey and Steven Ocloo Jr.
Ocloo died in Accra, Ghana after she developed pneumonia in February 2002. She received a state funeral in Accra, and was buried at her hometown, Peki Dzake.
The Greater Accra Region has the smallest area of Ghana's 16 administrative regions, occupying a total land surface of 3,245 square kilometres,. This is 1.4 per cent of the total land area of Ghana. It is the second most populated region, after the Ashanti Region, with a population of 4,010,054 in 2010, accounting for 16.3 per cent of Ghana's total population.
Ephraim Kɔku Amu was a Ghanaian composer, musicologist and teacher.
Articles related to Ghana include:
Pokuase, also spelled Pokoasi, is a suburb of Accra, the capital city of Ghana and spans the area from Pokuase, leading off the Accra-Kumasi motorway on the right coming from Accra central; and leading off the motorway at Pokuase Junction and rising to ‘Okai Kwei Hill’, on the left coming from town. It is a mixture of lively retail shopping areas, with local stores, bars or 'drinking spots', bus/taxi stations, and a market. It also has many hotels, guest houses and rental apartments- such as the Legassi Gardens Apartments, and 'high-end' developing residential areas, as well as the long-established executive gated community of ACP Estates. Pokuase Junction is one of the busy bus stops for public transport, including buses (trotros) and shared-taxis, along the Accra-Kumasi motorway. The large bus station just at Pokuase Junction provides frequent transport to all sides of Accra, and transport runs as far as Medina, Tema and Spintex Road. Accra is the 11th-largest metropolitan area in Africa.
Charity Akoshiwo Tornyewonya Zormelo, subsequently Mrs Fiawoo was the first woman graduate from the Gold Coast, and the first woman from English-speaking West Africa to earn a B. S. degree.
The Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) is an umbrella group that unites 31 churches in Ghana. The council has its members from Charismatic, Pentecostal, Orthodox and other churches.
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Susan Barbara Gyankorama Ofori-Atta also de Graft-Johnson was a Ghanaian medical doctor — the first female doctor on the Gold Coast. She was the first Ghanaian woman and fourth West African woman to earn a university degree. Ofori-Atta was also the third West African woman to become a physician after the Nigerians Agnes Yewande Savage (1929) and Elizabeth Abimbola Awoliyi (1938). In 1933, Sierra Leonean political activist and higher education pioneer, Edna Elliot-Horton became the second West African woman university graduate and the first to earn a bachelor's degree in the liberal arts. Eventually Ofori-Atta became a medical officer-in-charge at the Kumasi Hospital, and later, she assumed in charge of the Princess Louise Hospital for Women. Her contemporary was Matilda J. Clerk, the second Ghanaian woman and fourth West African woman to become a physician, who was also educated at Achimota and Edinburgh. Ofori-Atta was made an Honorary Doctor of Science by the University of Ghana for her work on malnutrition in children, an received the Royal Cross from Pope John Paul II when he visited Ghana in 1980, in recognition of her offering of free medical services at her clinic. She helped to establish the Women's Society for Public Affairs and was a Foundation Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her achievements were a symbol of inspiration to aspiring women physicians in Ghana.
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Dr. Ken Kwaku is an international investment and corporate governance expert. In 2013 he was nominated together with the late President of Ghana, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills for the Africa Achievers Award. This recognition stemmed from his track record in the area of business development and the unearthing of leadership potentials across Africa. He is Ghana's Honorary Consular to Tanzania and a special adviser to the former president, H.E. Benjamin Mkapa.
Agnes Yewande Savage was a Nigerian doctor and the first West African woman to train and qualify in orthodox medicine. Savage was the first West African woman to receive a university degree in Medicine, graduating with first class honours from the University of Edinburgh in 1929 at the age of 23. In 1933, Sierra Leonean political activist and higher education pioneer, Edna Elliot-Horton became the second West African woman university graduate and the first to earn a bachelor's degree in the liberal arts.
MatildaJohannaClerk was a medical pioneer and a science educator on the Gold Coast and in West Africa as well as the second Ghanaian woman to become an orthodox medicine-trained physician. The first woman in Ghana and West Africa to attend graduate school and earn a postgraduate diploma, Clerk was also the first Ghanaian woman in any field to be awarded an academic merit scholarship for university education abroad. M. J. Clerk was the fourth West African woman to become a physician after Nigerians, Agnes Yewande Savage (1929), the first West African woman medical doctor and Elizabeth Abimbola Awoliyi (1938) in addition to Susan de Graft-Johnson, née Ofori-Atta (1947), Ghana's first woman physician. These pioneering physicians were all early advocates of maternal health, paediatric care and public health in the sub-region. For a long time after independence in 1957, Clerk and de Graft-Johnson were the only two women doctors in Ghana. By breaking the glass ceiling in medicine and other institutional barriers to healthcare delivery, they were an inspiration to a generation of post-colonial Ghanaian and West African female doctors at a time the field was still a male monopoly and when the vast majority of women worldwide had very limited access to biomedicine and higher education. Pundits in the male-dominated medical community in that era described Matilda J. Clerk as "the beacon of emancipation of Ghanaian womanhood."
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Linda Obenewaa Akweley Ocloo is a Ghanaian politician and member of the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana representing the Shai-Osudoku Constituency in the Greater Accra Region on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress.