Who we are
Founded in 2006, the Akoma Cooperative Multipurpose Society is a non-government organisation established to help members of the village of Pusu-Namogo, particularly the more vulnerable women, children and elderly, to rise out of poverty. The cooperative was created as a sustainable venture by Akoma International (UK) Limited, a company that plays a critical commercial role in building and maintaining import and export trade between Ghana and the international markets
Over the last three years, through Akoma skincare, a subsidiary business venture of Akoma International (UK) Limited, we have focused on producing and supplying indigenous raw ingredients from Ghana. We have developed various skin care products from these ingredients and are currently focusing on two particular products: our Raw Shea Butter and our Ghanaian Black Soap. Both have received Fairtrade certification and organic status.
Part of the investment in Pusu-Namogo included the formation of the Akoma Cooperative Multipurpose Society. Fundamentally, the cooperative is for women who want to work to improve quality of life for themselves and their family. In Bolgatanga, unemployment is a critical issue together with low literacy rates and poor access to health services that are stretched beyond available resources by high incidence diseases such as malaria, kwashiorkor and beriberi.
Upon joining the cooperative, women can earn an income by collecting, processing and selling shea nuts and shea butter. The majority of this work occurs during harvest time, from June to October. The Akoma facility currently produces around 45 tonnes of shea butter a year, of which 15 tonnes is certified organic, is capable of producing around eight tonnes of shea butter a day and has the storage capacity for approximately 12,000 bags of shea nuts.
To guarantee the women an income all year the Akoma cooperative is diversifying into other crafts and skills, including dressmaking, soap making and cocoa butter production.
Benefits to the community
Part of the remit of the cooperative is to ensure that the whole village benefits from the investment made. Programmes are being put into place to ensure that
- women are empowered to create a better future for their families through training schemes and employment opportunities
- training is broad and includes topics, such as, health and safety at work and disease control
- knowledge of other government or charitable schemes for generating income is shared
- children receive the help they need to protect them from disease
- communities have better facilities, e.g. libraries, schools, clinics, sanitary conveniences, etc.
- expert local knowledge is sought to make best use of available resources in the community, and
- respite care is available for the elderly or infirm so that a good quality of life is possible for all.
For more detailed information visit the Akoma Cooperative Multipurpose Society's own website