H.E. Mrs. Samira Bawumia is the Second Lady of the Republic of Ghana. She is a passionate and tireless advocate of women’s rights and economic empowerment, gender equity, entrepreneurial development, women and children’s health, as well as education. She is known for her goodwill through her philanthropic organisation, the Samira Empowerment and Humanitarian Projects (SEHP). Through SEHP, Her Excellency has initiated critical and timely interventions in the areas of health, education and women empowerment.
Her Excellency endeavors to empower women economically through the SEHP Skills and Entrepreneurial Development Initiative (SEDI); aimed at improving the socio-economic well-being of women generally, through training, provision of capital, start-up kits and the establishment of micro-enterprise schemes. Over 3,600 rural and urban women in various vocational and entrepreneurial skills-sets have benefitted so far.
A further 1,200 women have had their capacities enhanced through the Shea Empowerment Initiative, a women economic empowerment and rural enterprise project, aimed at training one thousand six hundred (1,600) women in quality shea nut (a major cash crop in Ghana) collection and processing, with access to a ready market for finished shea products. As part of the initiative, Her Excellency has also constructed four (4) modern environmentally friendly shea processing factories in the Northern, North East, Upper West and Upper East Regions of Ghana, which will provide about three hundred (300) direct and one thousand five hundred (1,500) indirect employment.
As part of her commitment to drastically reduce maternal and neo-natal mortality. The “Safe Delivery Project” aims to distribute one hundred thousand (100,000) well-resourced birth kits to expectant mothers in deprived communities across Ghana. Over 6,000 birth kits have been distributed to mothers in deprived and difficult-to-reach communities. SEHP has also resourced thirty-eight (38) health facilities across Ghana.
Her Excellency is an advocate for the “Combined Maternal and Child Health Record Book Project” - a Ghana Health Service initiative, with support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). She is also supporting the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) on the “Nurturing Care Framework for Early Childhood Development,” a project focused primarily on childcare. Mrs. Bawumia is spearheading a Coalition of People against Sexual and Gender-based Violence and Harmful Practices (CoPASH), in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The mandate of CoPASH is to bring together agencies, organisations and individuals who are passionate about the rights of women and girls, to advocate for better case management for victims of “Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Harmful Practices” (SGBVs/HPs).
H.E Mrs. Samira Bawumia is determined to make Ghana a literary powerhouse. She has so far distributed about one hundred thousand (100,000) books to over two hundred thousand (200,000) pupils in sixty (60) basic schools across Ghana, as part of her “Get Ghana Reading Campaign.” She is also the Patron of the Samira Bawumia Literature Prize, a launchpad for aspiring Ghanaian writers to share their art with the world. Mrs. Bawumia is the Chief Trustee of the SEHP Educational Trust Fund, a Fund set up to provide scholarships to brilliant but needy students in tertiary institutions.
In October 2017, Her Excellency was appointed as a Global Ambassador for the Clean Cooking Alliance, a public-private partnership hosted by the United Nations Foundation to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and protect the environment. She uses her influence to raise awareness on issues of clean cooking and advocates for the adoption of clean energy solutions on the global stage. As part of her global mandate, Her Excellency has advocated for clean cooking solutions at several international conferences and fora. Notable amongst such conferences are; ‘The Clean Cooking Forums in India and Kenya, the First WHO Global Conference on Health and Air Pollution and the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, the 2019 Ashden Awards in London, UK, the Launch of Campaign to Unlock Full Rural Women’s Potential through the Power of Entrepreneurship, UN Headquarters, New York, USA, the 2019 Cooking for Climate: Scaling up clean cooking for climate, health and development” Session at UNFCCC COP 25 in Madrid, Spain, the 2019 World Bank Group’s Defying the Future: Frontier Solutions for a Changing World Learning Forum, Washington, USA, and the 2019 European Development Days in Brussels, Belgium.
For her many impactful initiatives to the cause of humanity, Mrs. Bawumia was named a ‘2018 African Woman of Excellence’ by the African Union Commission in partnership with the Diaspora African Forum. Her Excellency was also honored as one of seven global leaders in the sustainable energy movement, at the 2019 Seven for 7 awards, a celebration by Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), in partnership with Ashden, in recognition of her invaluable role in leading and driving action on Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7), the call for universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030.
H.E Mrs. Samira Bawumia holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Law and Sociology from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Project Management from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). She is married to H.E Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, with whom she has four children.