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Posts Tagged ‘Ghana’
Q&A with Olayinka David-West, author of case study: Esoko (Ghana)

Olayinka David-West is a lecturer of Information Systems at Lagos Business School, and has over 19 years experience in the local IT industry. She is also an academic director at the Enterprise Development Services (EDS) Centre of Pan-African University.

She combines her teaching and research interests with industry consulting engagements in the areas of Strategic IS Planning, IT Personnel Selection, IT Assessment & Review/Due Diligence, E-Business, Business Planning, Software Selection & Management, Systems Implementation, Project & Change Management, Process Improvement and Systems Design. Her research interests include the adoption, utilisation and performance of of information systems in organisations, IT governance, and issues relating to the development of IT organisations.

Olayinka is currently enrolled in a doctoral programme at the Manchester Business School, and is researching e-banking performance for her DBA thesis. In addition, she holds an MSc in Business Systems Analysis and Design from City University, London, and a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Lagos. She is a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT) and an academic advocate to the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).

Esoko is a technology-based market information system (MIS) providing  farmers and traders with market information such as prices, and a platform for advertising and negotiating buy/sell offers.

To download the Esoko case study from the GIM database, please click here.

What has been your personal experience going through the GIM training and case research process?

The GIM training and case research process provided an opportunity to write cases that I may not have written alone. The structured nature of the GIM research framework shared during the training provided a systematic approach to thinking and documenting inclusive businesses. In 2010, the Lagos Business School also introduced corporate social responsibility as one of the core teaching tenets and the GIM cases have provided excellent teaching material that extends the basic model of corporate responsibility.

What is Esoko’s basic value proposition and what makes its financial model sustainable?

Esokos main value proposition is the market information system to facilitate communication and information sharing amongst farmers and communities that are difficult to reach. Riding on the GSM revolution in Africa, Esoko provides a working platform for existing associations and communities. The financial sustainability of the model comes from the diverse distribution approach where it can be sold as a retail or corporate product.

What have been the biggest challenges hindering Esoko’s development and growth?

The dynamic and changing nature of technology combined with the lack of professional systems development skill sets are the biggest challenges.

What are the main challenges for small-scale farmers in a country like Ghana?

Small scale farmers in a country like Ghana are limited by access to markets. Due to the numerous value chain processes and players, small scale farmers often fail to reap the full reward of their products. Also, farmers are inhibited by poor logistical support for storage and transportation.

What are the promises in terms of human development of the use of technology as presented in this case?

With the use of the technology presented in this case, the main deliverable is knowledge that has various developmental byproducts.

Launch of the Creating Value for All Report in Ghana


The launch of the Creating Value for All report was held in Ghana on October 16, 2008, at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel. The event chaired by the Director-General of the Private Enterprise Foundation, Dr. Osei Boeh-Ocansey, was attended by representatives of the private sector, government, CSO, development partners and practitioners, and the press, among others.

Welcoming participants to the event, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Daouda Toure explained that UNDP launched the Growing Inclusive Markets initiative in response to the growing need for better understanding of how the private sector can contribute to human development and to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He mentioned that the central focus of the GIM report is the pursuit of equality of opportunities while avoiding extreme deprivation. He added that the report argues very powerfully that the private sector has a critical role to play in alleviating poverty and showcasing how businesses are developing in difficult market conditions and how in the process they create mutual value for business and help the majority to graduate from poverty.

Statements were made by representatives of USAID and AFD, partners of the GIM initiative. The author of the Ghanaian case studies, Dr. Robert Osei, then gave an overview of the report and its implications for Ghana. This was followed by government and private sector perspectives of doing business with the poor.

Mr. Francis Kusi, a Director at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Private Sector Development, congratulated UNDP for the initiative and for drawing attention to the missed opportunity in drawing on the potential of the poor as producers, suppliers and customers in the supply chain. He cited the President’s ‘Special Initiatives on Cassava, Oil-palm and Textiles’ as attempts by the Government to ensure the poor actively participate and benefit from cash crops / export produce.

Mr. Ishmael Yamson, Chairman of UNILEVER Ghana, attested to how UNILEVER, by working with farmers and suppliers along its supply chain, successfully expanded the benefits of the multi-national beyond its core business of producing and marketing consumer products, to farmers, retailers and promoted community empowerment.

Launching the report Mr. Kwame Pianim, an economist and a member of the UN Commission on Private Sector and Development whose work inspired the Growing Inclusive Market initiative, mentioned that doing business with the poor was profitable. This is because the poor have the potential for consumption, production, innovation and entrepreneurial activities that are largely untapped. He further mentioned that if these potentials are effectively utilized it can lay the foundation for long term growth by developing new markets, driving innovations, expanding the labour pool and strengthening value chains in most developing countries.



Press Coverage

  • Business Week- “The UNDP’s Strategy to Include the Poor in Business” [PDF]

Contact Details

UNDP Ghana
Ring Road Dual Carriage
P.O. Box 1423
Tel: 233-21-773890-96
Fax: 233-21-773899