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Women entrepreneurs in Ghana help ignite an economy boom

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Jacquelyn Martin/AP/File

(Read caption) US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (c.) poses with participants in the 2011 African Women's Entrepreneurship Program on Oct. 3, at the State Department in Washington. Just left of Clinton is Priscilla Impraim of Ghana. Women entrepreneurs are expected to help make Ghana the fastest-growing economy in the world this year.

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Ghanaian women are mothers, daughters, and wives. Add entrepreneurs to the list. Female entrepreneurs are flourishing across Africa, but Ghanaian women are leading the pack.

Education, national stability, and microfinance have spurred their success.

Ghana’s government recognizes the important role women play in reaching the country’s development goals. “No nation can move on without emphasizing the education and emancipation of women,” said Vice President John Dramani Mahama.

One result of that attitude is an increase in women’s education, and the cornerstone of further education is literacy.

The literacy rate among females between the ages of 15 to 24 is 78 percent, according to UNICEF, up from 16.6 percent in 1970. This is an impressive jump in the time span of one generation and demonstrates how many more Ghanaian women today can access the kind of skills needed for running a business, like accounting, marketing, and management.

Ghana’s stability has also helped catapult its business environment forward. It was the first nation in sub-Saharan Africa to achieve independence in 1957.

In the 1970s and 1980s, political instability took its toll on the country. But since then, Ghana has regained political stability and goodwill from the international community, providing an environment ripe for business growth and development. As a result, investor confidence has increased.

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