Group of women at a presentation

Improving Women Shea Collectors’ Capacity in Ghana

Strengthened cooperatives and improved product quality


Shea richness and its untapped economic potential

Shea offers technical and health benefits as cooking oil and food or cosmetic ingredient. European companies play an important role in the shea industry in West Africa, buying more than 80% for exports to Europe, Asia and America. According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) the sector employs an estimated 3 million women across West Africa, generates between USD 90 million and USD 200 million a year from exports and promotes economic activities in communities.

In Ghana 600,000 women collect and process shea across the six northern regions. Many of these women are the main provider of their households and rely on this line of work to take care of pressing family needs. Most of these women are, however out of reach to buyers due to unavailable road networks to the communities.

A project implemented by the GSA and partners from the private sector aims to change that by connecting these women with buyers. The project seeks to improve the capacity of women shea collectors: they receive training and are expected to benefit from improved working conditions. It will also boost the sector’s profitability by helping to remove investment barriers of European and local companies through creating and strengthening cooperatives, improving product quality and facilitating direct sourcing.


Promote investment in the shea value chain in Ghana

Through the public-private partnership project women shea collectors are trained on topics of governance of cooperatives and quality shea processing. They receive pre-processing tools to put these lessons into practice. They can be sure of a ready market which means an end to post-harvest losses and that they can produce all year round.

Prior to the project, the low product quality has been identified as investment barriers for both European and local firms. To remove this barrier the project invests in improving product quality through training, facilitating direct sourcing and further developing other public-private partnerships. With its leading role and continuous effort to drive a more profitable shea industry the GSA is a strategic project partner.

Over the course of the two-year project, GSA and the partner companies involved aim to achieve the following:

  • Train 5,000 women on governance of cooperatives and quality shea processing topics
  • Improve working conditions for 24,000 women in the north of Ghana
  • Create 10 new cooperatives and strengthen an additional 40 existing cooperatives
  • Create at least 375 new jobs at cooperatives and private sector partners
Global Shea Alliance (GSA)


Jobs for women in the north of Ghana

In 2021, the project has already attracted several European and local private sector partners who are interested in co-investing. They include Fuji Oil Europe, Bunge Loders Croklaan, Mother Shea Ltd, OLENEX Sarl, Savannah Fruits Co. Ltd and Sunlife Ltd.

As of June 2021, more than 2,500 women were trained on topics of governance of cooperatives and quality shea processing. A private sector contribution of 580,000 Euros has been mobilised for the construction of warehouses and equipment as well as pre-processing tools.

The Global Shea Alliance (GSA) is supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in the context of Invest for Jobs on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Project details

Project status


Project locations

Ghana Northern Territory

Project objectives

Job creation Training



A project with



Fuji Oil Europe Bunge Loders Croklaan OLENEX Sarl Mother Shea Ltd Savannah Fruits Co. Ltd Sunlife Ltd

People and stories

Comfort Bugri: Trainings for a shea collector in Ghana


We are looking forward to hearing from you

Under the Invest for Jobs brand, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has put together a package of measures to support German, European and African companies in investment activities that have a high impact on employment in Africa. The Special Initiative "Decent Work for a Just Transition" – the official title – offers comprehensive advice, contacts and financial support to overcome investment barriers. The development objective is to work together with companies to create up to 100,000 good jobs and to improve working conditions and social protection in its African partner countries.

Partner countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal and Tunisia.

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