Preparing for the Kuapa AGM

Christiana Ohene-Agyare, Kuapa farmer and National Executive member

Christiana Ohene-Agyare, Kuapa farmer and National Executive member

Hello, my name is Christiana Ohene-Agyare. I am the recorder of Kwabeng Kuapa Kokoo Society and the National Treasurer of the Union.

Being a member of Kuapa Kokoo has taught me that whatever a man can do, a woman can also do and even better. The position of recorder is traditionally seen as a job for men but I realized I could perform that job better than the men and so I contested for it and won about 80% of the votes!

I have been appointed chairperson of the planning committee to organize this year’s Annual General Meeting which will be held on the 29th and 30th of July. This is a very big task but i am up to it! The AGM is the biggest event on the Kuapa Kokoo calendar! Over 2400 representatives from the various societies will be attending. We will also get the chance to decide on various projects for the coming year.

I must say that I have enjoyed a lot of benefits from Kuapa Kokoo and Fairtrade: Today, I am better able to look after my family- my two children are all in school. My daughter is in her final year at the Takoradi Polytechnic persuing a course in marketing. My son is also at the University of Science and Technology. I was able to put them in school because my income level has improved over the years.

My village Kwabeng also has a borehole that was built with Fairtrade funds. We do not have to walk long distance to fetch water anymore… there is clean portable water in the heart of the village.

I particularly like being a member of Kuapa Kokoo because it is very democratic. Every farmer is able to contribute their ideas when we have meetings. In Ghana, farmers are normally not consulted before decisions affecting us are taken. They just assume that farmer would like one thing or the other. Most of the time policy makers get it wrong! Kuapa Kokoo however, offers farmers an opportunity to decide for ourselves.

I am very proud to be a member of a cooperative that co-owns Divine Chocolate. Two members from Kuapa sit on their board. It is unique! I do not know any other organization in the world that has this kind of business relationship. People all over the world know Kuapa Kokoo because we co-own Divine and we are very proud of our chocolate company. I wish to entreat more people to buy Divine!

6 Responses to Preparing for the Kuapa AGM

  1. Scott says:

    Congratulations Christine on your efforts and achievements. It is really exciting to hear of the success of a skilled woman in such a traditionally male dominated environment!

    I am curious to know what it is that you, and obviously all those that voted for you, think that you do better than a man in the position of recorder!

    What do you see as your future greatest challenges and the challenges facing other women interested in taking on leadership roles in Kuapa Kokoo?

    • guest blogger says:

      Hello Scott
      I guess people voted for me because they know they can trust me. I have lived in Kwabeng almost all my life and the people know that i could never cheat them. I am also a farmer and know that it very difficult to work on the farm.

      The number of farmers in my society is growing by the day and my major challenge is how to keep close ties with all of them. Now i have to travel to Kumasi a lot for meetings given my new role.

      In order to get more women to take up leadership positions, i think there has to be a lot more education to make women believe in themselves. If they get that self belief i am very sure they will take up positions that are traditionally reserved for men.
      Christiana Ohene-Agyare

  2. Scott says:

    Christiana many thanks for your very informative reply! I look forward to hearing about your continuing success, the success of other women within Kuapa Kokooa and your ground-breaking partnerships within Divine Chocolate!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Christina
    I’m always inspired by Kuapa Kookoo and the way that the co-operative structure means women can really play equal positions. We always use it as an example of how great change can be with co-operatives and fairtrade. Hope your AGM goes well.

  4. Foster says:

    Indeed it’s all joyous to be part of the family of “kuapa kookoo”.I’m the said son of Christiana Ohene Agyare.My sister and I have benefitted a lot from the “kuapa” family.For years our mother had strived to do things better than men could do.
    Mum, your my mentor in life as you always say:”strive for the best.” All I can say is “ayikoo “and welldone.
    Hope your AGM goes well.

  5. Tabitha Ohene-Agyare says:

    congratulation on your efforts and achievements,may grace to your elbow.just wont to know whether we are kind of related?

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