First exhibition focuses on African 'critical' shea based cosmetics industry

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Africa

First exhibition focuses on African 'critical' shea based cosmetics industry
A shea-based cosmetics exhibition, the first of its kind for Africa, has focused on stimulating new ideas, promoting the best steps to move the sector forward and encouraging economic growth across the continent.

The Shea Network Ghana and Global Shea Alliance (GSA) were behind the exhibition that opened its doors to cosmetic professionals on Monday in Accra.

Both organisations were praised for their commitment to co-ordinate and develop the shea sector with such an event as well as the government of Ghana, who has supported shea collectors, processors, and entrepreneurs.

According to USAID’s West Africa Mission Director, Alex Deprez, who spoke at the event; "Shea is a critical industry that touches the lives of millions in rural communities in Ghana and across Africa andevents like this stimulate the industry to move forward.​”

Meanwhile; Senyo Kpelly, CEO of TAMA Cosmetics and GSA Executive Committee Member, spoke about the importance of GSA activities.

With over 360 members in 25 different countries, Kpelly said the GSA “undertakes numerous activities to promote shea as a high quality cosmetics ingredient and ensure the sustainability of this resource for generations to come.”

High demand for Shea-based cosmetics

Kpelly also noted that; “As the demand for high-quality products continues to grow in Africa and around the world, many of our members are developing new products and technologies to satisfy this market. And the great thing is that these members are doing this in Africa with African ingredients.​”

After the opening ceremony, attendees toured the Exhibition and met with African entrepreneurs who were showcasing new launches that included traditional black soap and raw shea butte,  to more modern ranges like coconut-mango shampoo and body wash.

Shea butter is an important crop in terms of functionality, sustainability, economic and social development for many cosmetic suppliers, including AAK.

Lipids for Care, a division of AAK, produce Lipex products for the industry from raw materials. They have been specifically sourcing Shea in Africa for over sixty years.

Since 2003, the supplier has been working with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to install machinery in rural villages to reduce women’s daily workload and increase their opportunity for generating income.

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