How Stella Akosua Ansah is leaving her mark on Ghana’s Ministry of Trade & Industry
(TheAfricanDream.net) — Stella Akosua Ansah has had thorough exposure on Ghana’s trade scene, working closely with ministerial heads since her employment in 2004 in Ghana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry.
In her time moving up the hierarchy, she has had access to decisions and discussions that enhanced and shaped the country’s trade stability.
Born in Ghana, Stella had her formative years at the St. Roses Senior High School located in Akwatia, in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Then went through her tertiary education at one of the country’s most illustrious universities, the University of Ghana (UG). At the UG she obtained her first degree in B.A (Hons.) in Geography & Resource Development from 1990 through 1993.
Nine years later, she went back to the same institution for extra studies from 2002 through 2004 during which she successfully obtained a Masters degree in the same course of study.
Stella landed her feet at the Ministry of Trade & Industry as an Assistant Commercial Officer, a post which kicked off her long professional relationship at that Ministry. Before that, she had worked in the private sector.
Her initial employment with the Trade Ministry in 2004 paved way for burlier promotions and exposure, a service that made her part of the team that provided “researched information for the development of concept paper on the Export Trade Houses,” she revealed in an interview with TheAfricanDream.net in June 2022.
In 2006, Stella’s passion and professionalism shot her into the position of the Commercial Officer at Export Trade Support Services Division (ETSS).
She disclosed to TheAfricanDream.net that she worked “closely with the Consultant developing the National Export Strategy,” at the time, providing further assistance in organizing focus group discussions with key stakeholders in the export industry during the formulation of the National Export Strategy for Ghana.
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She also “researched data to be incorporated in the National Export Strategy document,” acting as a liaison with then Ghana Export Promotion Council, Federation of Association of Ghanaian Exporters and the Ghana Trade Fair Authority among other institutions.
By 2009, Stella annexed an extra badge of honour for diligent devotion to the Ministry’s trade cause. This came in the form of an apt promotion to a Senior Commercial Officer, Export Trade Support Services Division, an office she held for three years.
While in that office, she facilitated the business networking of Ghanaian SMEs with foreign businesses taking intrinsic interest in connections that promoted the country’s local markets. A vivid example was becoming “part of the team responsible for the development of a strategy for the country’s yam Industry,” she revealed to this website.
She collaborated with relevant Trade Promotion Agencies to provide guidance on products improvement and market requirements, while also coordinating the activities of the National Export Strategy Steering Committee.
She participated earnestly as a Pavilion Director during Ghana’s participation in the Expo 2010, Shanghai, China, and was a member of the National Planning Committee for the Expo 2012, in Korea. According to her, her innovative hardwork led to more participating visitors in Ghana’s pavilions in both instances.
Stella moved on to the position of Principal Commercial Officer, Domestic Trade & Distribution Division in 2012, taking another sizable leap at proving her worth. Although hectic for every career woman, the mother of three always fittingly managed to balance work and family relationships. Maintaining this balance according to her always paid off because “in 2014, I was nominated to head the Domestic Trade Division,” she humbly said as she took another smile about her promotion streak.
In her appointment at the time, she collaborated with key partners for the launch of Made-in-Ghana Policy, and the Made-In-Ghana logo.
She also worked with regional offices to undertake market intelligence that promoted Made-in-Ghana goods. The policy is aimed at encouraging institutions, particularly public ones, to buy items and services created in Ghana.
Stella became a member of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Economic Committee, and contributed immensely during AGOA Mid-Review meetings and the AGOA Forum under her appointment as Minister-Counselor and Head of Trade and Investment department at the Embassy of Ghana to the United States (US) in Washington D.C. in 2015.
In her conversation with Arakunrin Lekan of TheAfricanDream.net about her time in the US, she explained how she cherished the role she played in “developing a database of Ghanaian owned businesses in the US and US companies in Ghana. My focus was to provide trade leads and market access information to Ghanaian companies interested in doing business in the US.“
In her periodic briefings on trade related issues, she strengthened the relationship between the Trade and Investment Office and the US Chamber of Commerce, Corporate Council on Africa, and the US-Ghana Chambers of Commerce, leading to various trade mission to and from Ghana and the US.
She organized trade and business roundtable meetings and fora, to promote Government’s priority projects with Ghana as a preferred investment destination.
In her 2020 interview with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), she explained Ghana’s trade plans through the One District One Factory (1D1F) initiative launched by the country’s president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2017.
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The goal of the effort was to shift Ghana’s economy away from reliance on raw material imports and exports and instead focus on “manufacturing, value addition and export of processed goods, using raw materials that would have otherwise gone [to] waste,” she said.
In a tweet thread from the FAO that highlighted her opinion on turning food waste into a profitable business, she hoped that both government and the private sector would work together to “improve the livelihoods of farmers and increase the availability of nutritious foods.”
Her discussions have mostly been centred around trade, and overtime she facilitated outgoing Trade and Investment Missions comprising individuals or groups and arranged meetings with relevant MDAs. Stella provided support to incoming Trade Missions from both the public and private sectors of Ghana by briefing them on their specific areas of interest and successful outcomes out of such Missions.
She currently serves as Deputy Chief Commercial Officer/Team Leader in the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Division of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, a post she has held since 2021.
It is significant to mention too that Mrs. Stella Akosua Ansah who hails from Boso located in the Eastern Region of Ghana, is the first woman to be posted from the Ministry of Trade and Industry to Head the Trade and Investment section of Ghana’s Embassy to the US in Washington DC.
Written by Oral Ofori, edited by Arakunrin Lekan
Oral Ofori is Founder and Publisher at www.TheAfricanDream.net, a digital storyteller and producer, and also an information and research consultant.