Tackle tough challenges: women are rebuilding the future of the timber industry in Ghana

“I used to sell my timber products on local markets only but now I run a successful online store and ship my products across Ghana,” says Georgina Asare, a timber business owner in Atonsu Chirepatre, a peri-urban community in Kumasi, southern Ghana. Women are increasingly shaping Ghana’s forestry and wood industry, which is why the Women in Timber Ghana (WiTG) Association has come together to support each other and increase their representation in the sector. They are creating a platform for women who are harnessing various business opportunities along the timber value chain. However, many companies still lack the digital skills they need to be successful.

Georgina is a member of the Women in Timber Ghana (WiTG) Association and has been running her business, Benginlla Enterprise, for several years. Georgina faced challenges in marketing her products, managing finances, and reaching out to potential buyers beyond her local community. She realised that she needed to improve her skills in using digital tools for her business to be more successful and decided to join with other women business owners of the WiTG Association, a digital skills training organised by the Digital Transformation Center Ghana.

Called “Digital Champions”, the women underwent a series of tailored training programmes and were introduced to digital technology. From basic computer skills to online marketing strategies, they were equipped with the tools to confidently navigate the digital landscape. Although the women owned a smartphone, they did not use it for work-related matters: „Beforehand I didn’t use my smartphone for my business but now I reach out to customers through social media and use a bookkeeping app for financial management.”

Part of the Digital Transformation Center Ghana is the Digital Transformation for Inclusive Entrepreneurship in Ghana (DTEG), which is committed to creating an inclusive digital economy and society in which women have the opportunity to participate in a digital world. “I am very inspired by the training and continue to apply the digital skills in my daily business activities,” says Georgina. DTEG’s activities aim to empower people to use digital tools and skills in their business and promote economic growth and decent jobs for all.

Georgina Asare’s story shows that digital skills and openness towards digitalisation can transform businesses and lives. Her journey is a testament to what is possible when there is an intentional effort to bridge the digital gender divide: “Being a “Digital Champion” means that I am now a mentor for other women and pass on my knowledge about digital skills. I hope I can inspire other women, especially young girls to dream big and embrace technology.”