Ghana: Mrs Stella Aku Addo Urges Women to Embrace the Procurement Profession

12 October 2019

It has always been her determination to aim high in life and bridge the gap of gender parity in society.

In this regard, Mrs Stella Aku Addo has vowed to leave a legacy that would stand the test of time in a male dominated profession, that is, the procurement sector.

In an interview with The Spectator last week, Mrs Addo expressed her worry of low percentage of female procurement specialists in Ghana.

Irrespective of the male take over in the Ghanaian procurement industry, this hard working woman has risen through the ranks to be the Country Manager of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), Ghana.

Fight for Women

Having 30 years of experience in procurement and supply, Mrs Addo has defied all odds in ensuring sanity in her work place by living up to her responsibilities.

According to her, though there were some women who played major roles in the procurement sector, they were not bold enough to be at the forefront of affairs.

Mrs Addo charged women not to be backbenchers in their offices, but rather take the front seats, act as leaders, and work to the best of their abilities.

She emphatically stated that, most women in many organisations were capable, qualified, and had experience in controlling the affairs for development, but were denied the opportunity to do so.

The self-motivated woman reiterated that nothing should stop women from taking topmost positions in order to showcase their peculiar talents towards development of this nation, adding that, "they should stop sitting on the fence and allowing the men to take all the positions".

Dare

She said it was not easy for a female to get promotion in the procurement sector, as it was always the male that was considered, and due to such reasons, most female practitioners dropped procurement along the line and venture into other disciplines like Human Resource Management, Marketing, Finance, among other departments to gain recognition and promotion.

She said it took years as a woman to breakthrough in the procurement profession.

Another challenge she pointed out was the huge cost involved in the training to become a procurement professional, and that the expensive nature of the programme posed a threat to the financially handicapped.

In spite of its expensive nature, Mrs Addo revealed that the end result was very fulfilling and rewarding.

The Country Manager said it was important for female procurement professionals to be recognised and appreciated because they were changing the face of procurement in Ghana tremendously.

Contributions to CIPS

Mrs Stella Aku Addo served as the first woman chair of CIPS, from March to August 2016, and was re-elected for a second term from September 2016 to September 2018, due to her outstanding leadership qualities and impressive running of the institute which increased the awareness of the profession in Ghana during her tenure.

She has elevated the presence of CIPS in Ghana to the extent that from November 2016 to date, public sector organisations including the civil service, have made many requests to CIPS Ghana, to recommend their experienced members to serve on their Entity Tender Committees, among others.

This determined woman worked with the CIPS United Kingdom office project team to set up a country office in Ghana which was launched in October 2017.

"There are a lot of contributions I have made to CIPS which would take us the whole day to talk about," she recounted to The Spectator.

According to the indefatigable woman, it was based on the above mentioned contributions that warranted her appointment as the first Manager of CIPS, Ghana.

She was awarded Fellowship by CIPS, the highest qualification of the institute which makes her the first woman Branch Chair, the first Woman Fellow, and the first Country Manager of the Institute in Ghana.

Awards

She has won seven awards, some of which include Ghana Top 20 Procurement Leaders, 2018, Supply Chains Connect, Outstanding Contribution to Procurement Professionalism, 2019, among others.

Educational Background

Born and raised by Mr and Mrs Botchwey of blessed memories, Mrs Stella Addo had her Secondary School education at the Accra Girls' Senior High (1978 to 1983) and Accra Academy (1983 to 1985) for her Ordinary and Advanced Levels respectively, she read General Arts.

She then continued to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in 1989, where she obtained her first degree in Estate Management, an Executive Management in Business Admistration in Project Management from the University of Ghana in May 2013, and chartered at CIPS in 2008.

She told The Spectator she had obtained multiple national and international certificates.

Other Tasks

Married to Mr Daniel Addo with two children, a boy and a girl, the Country Manager had contributed immensely to the development of the procurement profession in Ghana in diverse ways and in various capacities as a Procurement Specialist, Project Manager, Procurement Advisor with Crown Agents, Funds and Procurement Management unit of the Ministry of Education, and resigned as the Head of Procurement of Fidelity Bank.

Her notable contributions to the Japanese Grant Aid to Ghana was effectively seen when she was the Project Manager from September 2010 to January 2014.

The grant, she stated, achieved the "for clean energy preservation", "Capacity to cope with National Disaster caused by Climate Change" and for the "Forest reservation programme".

Interests

Mrs Addo revealed that, she was an artistic person who loved drawing, and also liked reading inspirational materials.

"All my children picked my drawing skills and they can draw very well, I love singing as well and was a soprano singer at the KNUST choir," she disclosed.

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