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Ester Afua Ocloo

Esther Ocloo
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Dzake Peki, Ghana

Marital Status: Married
No. of Children: Four

Educational background
1936-1941:Achimota Secondary School (Cambridge School certificate)
1949-1951:Diploma courses in : large Scale course at the Good House-Keeping
Institute of Cookery , London, England .
Food Preservation Course, Long Ashton, Research Station.
Department of Horticulture, Bristol University, Bristol, England.

A Short Biography

Born some 80 years ago and an Industrialist hails from Dzake Peki in the Volta region of Ghana. My passion for institutional assistance to the indigenous industrialist and women in Africa won me the affectionate advocacy of access to credit for the underprivileged women of the world during the first UN Conference in Mexico in 1975. My contributions made the Cambridge Biographical Society rate made me one of the foremost women leaders of the 20th century.

I contributed in no small measure towards Ghana’s economic independence and economic empowerment of women.For over 40 years of involvement in human resources development, I founded eight non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) of which only two are defunct.For seven years, my foundation has been focusing on ways and means of creating jobs for the unemployed youth through the establishment of a farm for the youth and African women entrepreneurial training center for training unemployed girls and women in employable skills and upgrading the skills of women entrepreneurs. I was a founding member of religious groups such as the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Madina (a suburb of Accra – Ghana) and the unity Group of Practical Christianity (Ghana).

I also assisted in forming women’s group in the E.P Church known as Bible Class with the aim of studying the bible and home management /I served on the synod committee of the E.P Church for 12 years.

Industrial Training:
1956: On attachment of Metal Box Co. West Action. London England for development of recipes for commercial canning with emphasis on West African Dishes.

Present occupation:
1. Has been an industrialist. Food scientist and human resource development specialist since 1942 when I started the first food processing and preservation factory in Ghana under the name Nkulenu Industries Limited. This factory was started with six shillings in the year 1942. I am presently the Chairperson /Managing Director of Nkulenu Industries Limited.

2. I also founded the sustainable end of hunger foundation (SEHUF) Ghana, a non-Governmental Organization founded in 1991 as part of the award she received from the African Leadership Prize for the Sustainable end of hunger.which aims at encouraging and supporting the local initiative in food production, processing, and preservation. The targets groups are women and the young.

Special Interest In Relation To Occupation:
Due to my poor and underprivileged background, I decided after my studies in Britain in 1956 to enter Human Resource development. In addition to my industrial pursuits so that the younger generation would not be subject to the kind of hard life, I went through. This partly explains my interest in assisting the development of the marginalized and underprivileged in society. This to a great extent contributed to the reason for using part of my African Leadership award to set up a Foundation. The Sustainable end of hunger foundation.

Major National Assignments:

First Ghanaian Woman to be appointed Executive Chairman, National Food and Nutrition Board Ghana (1964-1966)

National Directorships:

Synod committee Member, Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana (1974-1985).

Member of advisory Board, Ghana Institute of Management and public administration (GIMPA), Ghana.

Consultant to food and agricultural organization (FAO) of United Nations. Coordinator, Africa women in development- (1982-1987).

Chairperson, UN Committee for the international federation of business and professional women (IFBPW)-(1985-1989).

1st vice president, international federation of business and professional women –(1985-1987).

Chairperson of project/committee. International Federation of Business and Professional Women (1987-1989); and 2nd vice president (IFBPW) 1987-1989.

Consultant to UNIDO to develop (1) a training program for entrepreneurs in the food processing industry. Vol. 1 and vol. 2. Training program for women. Workbook (1993).

Some international directorships:

Director ecumenical development co-operative society (EDCS), loans Board, world council of churches, Netherlands.

Member of Advisory Board, African Project Development Facility (PDF)-1986-1995) Washington, USA.

First Chairperson of Board of Directors women's world banking International 1979-1985) New York, USA.

Member, a council of appropriate technology international (ATI), USA (1990-) Direct, Advisory member on women Issues. Farm Implements and Tools (FIT) program, an International Labour organization ILO/Netherlands Government Programs to support indigenous technology capacity (1993). FIT is a Netherlands NGO promoting the type of packaging material and machinery required by women who wish to into the food processing industry. Member of the board of trustees of the National Science and Technology Foundation (1994) Ghana.

Member of the board of trustees state of the world forum (1996).

President, United States African development consortium (USADC).

This is an NGO incorporated in (1997) by a group of Black Americans and Africans who have come together to see what can be d0one to help develop Africa. She was sworn in as president on the 16th of January 1997 as president for the Ghana chapter.

Since then, I have incorporated the Ghana chapter of the organization and look forward to what the future has in store.

Some innovative works initiated:

Started the first food processing and preservation factory in Ghana called Nkulenu Industries Limited (1942). Founder and first president, a federation of Ghana Industries, now Association of Ghana Industries. (1958-1961) This has been mentioned under AGI.

Founding member and the first Chairman of the board of directors, women world banking international, New York (1979-1985). National President of the Federation of Ghana Business and Professional women. (1979-1985).

Founder of aid to artisans association, Ghana (1988).

Artisans in the rural areas form a strong economic backbone of every developing country. Unfortunately, they have little or no education .she played the role of getting ATAG established and started an NGO to mobilize the artisans of Ghana to enter international export traders. To make this possible she linked ATA to United States aid to artisans ATUSA that arranges designers from the US to come over to get the Ghanaian artisans to use their skills to produce utility marketable products for export. The program is being supported by the Ghana government and USAID.

All the NGOs she founded so far are all being assisted by funding agencies like USAID, UNDP, Friedrich Naumann Foundation, etc.

She got lots of ideas and opportunities which she more or less passes on to other people whom she knows are committed and a play effective leadership roles, she served on the board or committees as an advisor of these NGOs. This same principle applies to women world banking Ghana, Ghana federation of business and professional women, and AGI as referred above. This accounts for my founding so many NGOs. She believes effective sustained development should be a partnership between people who are committed and have leadership qualities. Founder, Sustainable End of Hunger Foundation (SEHUF), Ghana (1991).

Mission: create jobs for unemployed youth by creating the type of environment which will make them take to farming as a vocation.

2. Setup a training center for upgrading the skills of African women entrepreneurs and try to train the unemployed school leavers to acquire employable skills so that they can become self-employed.

1. Honored by Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana for meritorious Service to Church, 1982.
2. Honored by all women association of Ghana (AWAG) for meritorious service (1985).
3. Recognized and certified by the editorials board of Biographical publication, England, as one of the Foremost Women of the twentieth century. 4. Co-winner of the African leadership prize for the sustainable end of hunger by the hunger project, New York- 1990.
5. Honored by International Federation of Business and Professional Women
6. National Arts and Culture Award (By Ghana National Commission On Culture 1992).
7. Laureate of the Gottlieb Duttweiller Prize, Switzerland- 1993.
8. Hounded by Junior Achievement (Global leadership Award, 1995) 9. Honored by First Global Women Investment Exhibition by Ghana Association of Women entrepreneurs (GAWE)-July 1996.
10. Honored by Peki Union for tremendous contributio0n and dedication to the welfare of her hometown Peki, Ghana.
11. Honored by Women World Banking Ghana in May 1995.
12. Honored by Women World Banking International in Beijing September 1995. Hounered by Beijing Women of Rochester New York ASA as one of 100 Heroines for the cause of women in the 20th century, October 1998.
13. Ghana’s Millennium Excellence Awards for Women and Gender Balance Development- 1999.

Conferences, workshops and seminars.
1. These have to do with Industry; Involvement and Integration of women in Development Process and Entrepreneurship, Micro-Small Scale Enterprises Development and specifically Food Processing and Preservation and Food Security.
2. Presented Papers especially on the Practical side of my involvement in Industry, Entrepreneurship, Women in development, Food Processing and Preservation, and Sustainable Development generally, at several National and International Conferences, workshops and seminars, and training sessions for industrialist, entrepreneurs both in the formal and informal sector, organized several training programs in food processing and preservation for women in the industry, institutional leaders, organized groups etch.

Reading, social, humanitarian /voluntary work, handicrafts making, gardening and cooking.

[source PEKI NEWS Vol.1 No 8 , November 2000 Page 6
submitted by Archer Mike

Gaithersburg Md. USA.


I have found it hard to believe that this profile of Dr Esther Ocloo was silent on her political activities.

1. She did contest the 1969 Parliamentary elections on the Progress Party [ PP ] ticket for the West Danyi Constituency in the Volta Region: and lost to one Dr. Agadzi from the National Alliance of Liberals [ NAL ].
2. She was a member of the Council Of State.

Am not so sure if it was during the second or third republic.