The United States Ambassador to Ghana, Ms Pomela Bridgewater on Thursday undertook a familiarisation visit to the Upper East Region to inspect some Community Self-Help Projects funded by the Embassy in the area. Areas she visited included the Basket Weavers Cooperative Association at Gambibgo; Sherigu Women's Organisation for Poultry and Art (SWOPA) and Hivilak Gift World Finest, a basket marketing company in Bolgatanga.
Mr Ayamga John Awuyanaba, Coordinator of the Gambibgo Basket Weavers Cooperative Association, on behalf of the Association, thanked the United States Embassy for its assistance. He explained that through the support of the Embassy, the Association had been able to build the capacity of its members and provided them with loans to undertake straw weaving, which has improved the quality of their products and their living standards.
"Many of our people, especially women, have been empowered economically and can now fend for themselves and their families." Mr Francis Danso, Managing Director of Havilak Gift World Finest Basket Company, said the Company had employed a good number of people in the area, especially the youth, thereby reducing the unemployment problem. The Ambassador, who was visibly impressed about the operation of the Embassy's Self-Help Projects, pledged the Embassy's further support and urged members of the group to work harder to empower themselves.
"Bolgatanga Basket is the best among all the baskets on the world market," Ms. Bridgewater indicated, after having bought many of the products herself. Accompanying the Ambassador was Mr Larry Dolan of USAID – Ghana; Ms. Amelia Brodrick, of the Public Affairs Section of the Embassy and Ms. Peace Adwoah Nunu, Coordinator of the Embassy's Self-Help Projects. The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr. Boniface Gambila and some officials from the Regional Coordinating Council accompanied the Ambassador on her rounds.