The programme, known as the Civil Society Organisations in Research and Innovation for Sustainable Development (CSO-RISE), will receive €7.2 million funding from the European Union (EU), representing 80 per cent of funding for the programme.The remaining 20 per cent of the total cost of the programme is to be furnished by selected CSOs that will be implementing the €9-million programme.
Projects under the programme include the development of ginger and fish value chains, cashew cultivation, bee-keeping and climate change solutions.
Others are reducing rural poverty, improving knowledge of and the adoption of improved environmentally friendly and cost-efficient fuels and fish processing technologies.
Some of the interventions are also tailored to address challenges with the use of renewable energy and the availability of inclusive financing for smallholder farmers in the selected municipalities.
The integrated programme is to effectively link agriculture to social protection and employment in the country and is part of the EU’s complementary initiative to support development priorities set under Ghana’s medium-term development blueprints, the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA) II and the Co-ordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (2017-2024).
Although the total number of beneficiaries was not made available at the launch, it was found that one arm of the project, which will focus on ginger and fish value chain development, will provide jobs for at least 24,000 people, including 300 of those living with disabilities, 1,000 women and 1,000 youth.
In all, four CSOs have been selected to participate in the four-year programme — the Centre for Local Governance Advocacy, International South-South Cooperation (Cooperazione Internazionale Sud Sud), Action Aid Ghana and the Cerath Development Organisation.
They will be working separately with thousands of beneficiaries in the Bono, Bono East, Northern, North East, Savannah, Upper East, Upper West, Central and Western regions.
At the launch of the CSO-RISE programme, a Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Charles Adu Boahen, said the programme would contribute to improved living conditions for the underprivileged in the selected municipalities.
He said the support from the EU demonstrated its commitment to support Ghana's development drive.
He expressed optimism that the project would complement the government's effort to bridge the poverty gap and foster decent work in rural and peri-urban areas.
The Head of the EU Delegation in Ghana, Mrs Diana Acconcia, said the programme would fulfil the two main objectives of the EU’s cooperation with Ghana — to create jobs for the youth and help the country transit to a greener development model.
The programme, she said, would promote sustainable businesses and a circular economy and improve the quality of life in the communities, while contributing to identifying innovative and climate smart practices.
The Head at the National Authorisation Office of the Ministry of Finance, Mr Ebenezer Nortey, said funding for the programme was secured under the 11th European Development Fund, which is subsumed by the Civil Measures in favour of CSOs, in partnership with the government through the Ministry of Finance.
He pointed out that the programme had enormous potential to positively impact on the beneficiaries and contribute considerably to the country’s growth.