Young Ghanaian female entrepreneur, helping to make life better for some women based in the Northern Regions of Ghana, complains on social media of abnormal customs taxes, that may well cripple her young business.
In a Facebook post, Malia Dinko shares how she feels saddened by the exorbitant charges, she has been presented with, after she shipped some small qualities of what she needs to help her package the sheabutter for sale. She writes that:
"Hello, Ghana pipos I need your help if you have any or know anyone in customs. So as you may or may not know, I create jobs for women in my village in Northern Ghana through the production of premium raw shea butter Northshea.
I ordered 6 boxes of plastic zip lock bags (customized to fit our needs) from China to Ghana and paid DHL SOOOOOO much because we wanted it quickly to keep work going.
Now the items got to Ghana and we are told it is held by customs. (That didn't happen when I shipped the same items to the US. It was dropped off with no questions).
So the folks in Ghana asked us to pay 200Gh first before we can see our customs tax receipt. We did and when the tax receipt came Nawaooooo it's... 7,967.02 GH
[see photos] FOR WHAT? Why? (they tax for COVID kraa)
My question is, is this normal? Does Ghana have any tax breaks for individuals working daily to improve the livelihood of its citizens? Why cripple young entrepreneurs when we are just trying to get on our feet and do good? Please advise ASAP. They said the price will go up if we don't pay it on time. Thank you in advance" she wrote.
Malia Dinko, who is the CEO of a beauty firm, named Northshea, an award winning young firm that according to its website, "is dedicated to empowering Ghanaian women living in poverty, as every Northshea product is individually handcrafted by women in Ghana, whose tireless effort and hard work create a shea butter of unmatched quality. Using only natural ingredients, our products can enrich and hydrate your skin in a more excellent manner than products you’ll find in store."
"At Northshea our products are always handmade in small batches with close attention to every ingredient we put in, to make sure every product is as special as possible. Whether you're on a quest for skin healing or just tired of the store lotions that simply can't hydrate your skin well enough, we've got something for you." its statement adds.
Charity Dinko, started her shea butter business five years ago as a way to liberate women from poverty in northern Ghana, as her company Northshea produces incredible Shea butter that they sell both wholesale and retail to other businesses that make soap as well in the USA.
Her business gives opportunities to the village she left behind. “The people there are extremely hardworking, especially the women, and there is extreme poverty to the point where most of them don’t even have food to feed their kids daily,” and hence, Dinko’s business quite literally is the life line for countless people in her village.
“Usually if they (rural women in the North who produce the sheabutter) go out to sell these thing themselves, they sell them for about 25 cents a pound,” Dinko said, “so we are able to market this over here, pay them living wages, so they can have a much more comfortable life.” Dinko said there is “no reason” why women making shea butter -- which is used in soaps, lotions and chocolate -- are living in extreme poverty.
Hence, something must be done about these abnormal customs charges, that may well cripple the business, supporting poorer families as soon as possible.
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