It is neither a stray nor incidental remark. Defying the odds as a black Female Innovative Entrepreneur and a female CEO of a Women’s Football Club in Ghana, Gifty Oware-Aboagye is well educated, exposed, and experienced, while her achievements are indelible. What she has done differently at Ghana’s National Service Scheme (NSS) since she joined the institution in 2017 as Deputy Executive Director with responsibility for Administration and Finance, helping to manage annual personnel of about 100,000 attests to this.
Her managerial dexterity and creative imprint have also shown in the realization even before covid-19 that people would need their certificates when they are looking for a job, and some may face the problem of losing their vital documents and certificates. To address this situation, she said: “We had to bring in place a two-factor processor to make it possible for people who misplace their certificates to get them back when they need them. There is a barcode on the certificate, and you can use the code scanner to scan and get back your certificate. As far as you have the certificate digitally, you can print it. We do hard copies to the individuals and do the digital copy to keep, so you can always have it, and there is no story again of my certificate got missing, I cannot find it. This also has to be protected such that you cannot clone it. We have to put a double-factor authentication on the certificate.”
In the modern world, most transactions are now card-based. The development underscores the radical steps taken to enhance the processing system at the NSS that have integrated the systems into all the cards that are accepted by Ghana. She further explains: “All the nationally accepted cards like the Ghana National Identification Card, the Driver’s License Card, the Passport, the SSNIT Card, the Voters Registration Card, all cadre of cards accepted here, and you are supposed to hold as far as you are a Ghanaian, we have put in our system. It will not be the issue of you have to go identify it as an individual during the card processing. We have crossed that line.
“On payment, because we charge the private institutions that take our National service Personnel up, we become the IGF for the institutions. We also decided to introduce ghana.gov. The whole idea of ghana.gov is to be able to pay for that service when you are seeking national service with the click of an icon. With this any other thing you want to do when it comes to any payment you want to make becomes easier because you have to pay directly with your bank, so, you can never say that an individual took this and did not pay it in, and such related issues. These are some of the things that our four-year tenure going to the fifth year has been able to deliver to the service.”
The team did not stop at that. Programmes and interventions have also been expanded to include the borehole initiative aimed at giving back to society and providing potable water for citizens, with needs-based support and assistance were given to communities.
As well as a consummate scholar and an innate go-getter, Gifty is a political leader. From her hard-working, middle-class family, she also worked hard to excel in school. She acquired secondary education at the Ghana Secondary School before proceeding to KNUST where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History. The Deputy Executive Director at NSS also holds a postgraduate certificate in Management of Democratic Elections in Africa (MDeA) from the University of South Africa.
Furthermore, she holds an MSc in Defense and International Politics at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College (GAFCSC) Communication and Interpersonal Skills at work conferred by University of Leeds and Institute of Coding UK, People Management Skills conferred by CIPD – Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development UK, Digital Skills : Social Media conferred by Accenture, Drafting and Negotiating Commercial Contracts: A Guide to Contract Law for Non-Lawyers conferred by college of Law-Asia, Human Resource Management(Professional Training Division) conferred by Unicaf University Zambia, Measuring Entrepreneurial Impact conferred by Coventry University & Deakin University, Business Fundamentals : Customer Engagement conferred by The Open University, Introduction to Business Management conferred by King’s College London, Create a Social Media Marketing Campaign conferred by University of Leeds & Institute of Coding, Strategic Financial Management and Effective Budget Execution by Crown Agents, MA Communication by John Moore Liverpool University, Security, Terrorism and Counterterrorism by Murdoch University, Business Fundamentals: Customer Engagement by The Open University and The Open University Business School.
While black women especially those in Leadership Roles continue to be disproportionately impacted by financial and “you are a female” crises, Gifty Oware-Aboagye is working to change the narrative in Africa, especially Ghana.