By Eunice Hilda Ampomah/Grace Princess Tarwo, GNA
Accra, Feb. 8, GNA - The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) on Friday launched the centenary celebration of its founder and three-time president, the late Dr Esther Ocloo, to celebrate her achievements nationally and globally.
The planned centenary celebration activities includes a memorial service slated for March 23, 2019, at Peki-Dzake, an inaugural lecture and launch of the Esther Ocloo Memorial Foundation, slated for April this year, as well as a thanksgiving service proposed to be held on April 28, 2019 at the Aggrey Chapel, Achimota School.
The launch, which was held in Accra, was on the theme: “Honouring a Legend of Her Time”.
The late Dr Esther Ocloo was born on April 18, 1919 and passed on in March 2002.
Her hard work invigorated the late President Dr Kwame Nkrumah to construct the Trade Fair Centre to promote locally made products after organising a locally manufactured products exhibition.
She was appointed into many public office positions, including the first Executive Chairperson of the National Food and Nutrition Board in 1963, advisor to the Council of Women and Development (1976-1986), a member of Ghana’s national Economic Advisory Committee (1978-1979), and a member of the Council of State in the third Republic of Ghana (1979-1981).
Her keen advocacy role and support for women and youth empowerment and employment at both the national and international level led to her co-founding of Women World Banking International and Women World Banking Ghana.
Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information, who launched the celebration, said the notion that “A nation that does not celebrate its heroes is not worth dying for” underscored the relevance of the celebration.
Quoting Dr Ocloo, he said, “Women must know that the strongest power in this world is economic power and they must strive for it”, adding that, she dedicated her life to securing employment opportunities and enhancing the welfare of women.
He noted that, she believed Ghana with focus on women and children, could produce much food to feed her markets, particularly to enhance entrepreneurship to promote industrialisation.
Mr Nkrumah urged the media to use their platforms to promote issues that would lead to national development with reference to the ideology of Dr Ocloo that focused on empowering women for socio-economic development.
Mrs Elizabeth Ohene, a seasoned Journalist, who spoke about the late Dr Ocloo, said, she started her entrepreneurial movement with a donation amount of 10 shillings, six pence from her aunty after completing school and staying jobless for some time.
She explained that after using six shillings to prepare marmalade for sale, she made 12 shillings as profit and consequently developed interest in business upon realising how beneficial it was.
She then initiated the Nkulenu foods, which consisted of the Nkulenu Palm Soup Base, Nkulenu Palm wine, and Nkulenu Fruit juice among others, Mrs Ohene said.
Mrs Ohene said the late Dr Ocloo knew that industrialisation started with food processing and with her hard work to achieve that, adding that, she always advised women and the youth by saying, “You are sitting in the midst of riches, so you shouldn’t be poor or beg”.
A Foundation has been established in honour of Dr Ocloo called, the “The Esther Ocloo Memorial Foundation”, as a platform to promote her legacy with her story through various communication channels to inspire a ‘can-do-attitude’ among women and the youth in Ghana and Africa as a whole.
The Foundation seeks to create appropriate opportunities for engagement at the community, national and international levels to honour her memory and keep her legacy alive by working to meet the development needs of local communities through the empowerment of women and the youth.
Mr Seth Twum-Akwaboah, the Chief Executive Officer of the AGI, said the Association would remember Dr Ocloo in many ways, especially her persuasive skills.
He said the persuasive skills contributed to the acquiring of both structural and operational support from both governmental and non-governmental organisations.