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Remembering Esther Afua Ocloo, Ghanaian Businesswoman And Pioneer Of Microlending

Esther Afua Ocloo

 

Esther Afua Ocloo was a Ghanaian entrepreneur who pioneered micro-lending, a program that provides small loans to businesses to stimulate growth. In 1976, she co-founded Women’s World Banking with Michaela Walsh and Ela Bhatt.

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Afua Nkulenu was born in the Volta Region to George Nkulenu, a blacksmith, and his wife Georgina, an Ewe potter and farmer. Her grandmother sent her to a Presbyterian primary school, and she eventually ended up at Peki Blengo, a coeducational boarding school. Because of her poverty, she traveled weekly from home to school, bringing food supplies that she cooked for herself to save money.

Afua Ocloo was the first person of African ancestry to obtain a cooking diploma from the Good Housekeeping Institute in London and to take the post-graduate Food Preservation Course at Long Ashton Research Station. During the 1970s, Ocloo worked at a national and international level in the economic empowerment of women. She was appointed as an adviser to the Council of Women and Development from 1976 to 1986, a member of Ghana’s national Economic Advisory Committee.

Afua Ocloo was the first African-American to receive a cooking diploma from the Good Housekeeping Institute in London and to enroll in the post-graduate Food Preservation Course at Long Ashton Research Station. During the 1970s, Ocloo worked on a national and international level to promote women’s economic empowerment. From 1976 to 1986, she served as an adviser to the Council of Women and Development and as a member of Ghana’s national Economic Advisory Committee.

Afua Ocloo also assisted in the formation of a women’s group known as Bible Class in the E.P. Church, with the goal of studying the Bible and managing one’s home. She was a member of the E.P.’s synod committee. Ocloo died in Accra, Ghana, in 2002, after contracting pneumonia.

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Written by How Africa News

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