In Sept 2010, I was fortunate to visit several Shea Butter villages in Tamale, Northern Region of Ghana, for the purpose of sourcing raw Shea Butter to sell and use for home made moisurisers. I was overwhelmed by the vast majority of women who were happy and hard working in keeping with the traditional method of processing Shea Butter.

The Co-operative Women’s Association Sagahilu has a membership that consists of 40 women. It is an umbrella association of 3 vibrant women groups. All groups are engaged in the Shea Butter extraction vocation, which is one of their main sources of income. Local employment is sometimes the only income for individuals and their community. The woman work all day in tropical weather conditions within the compound. At times there can be limited electricity and lack of constant running water especially when there is a drought as facilities have to be rationed. The women rely heavily on selling their shea butter produce to international customers.

Families live in traditional architecture of round huts made of mud with conical thatched roofs made of straw or corrugated iron that is built with local materials such as sand and reefs.

Shea Butter Smothers made using Shea butter from Tamale.