CSO-RISE Programme must be extended to consolidate gains - CSOs appeal to EU
Grant partners charged to implement the five-year Civil Society Organisations in Research and Innovation for Sustainable Development (CSO-RISE) Programme have expressed the desire to have the programme extended after it ended.
They believe that the €9 million integrated programme, which was initiated by the European Union (EU), in partnership with the Government of Ghana in 2018, had yielded enormous benefits to Ghanaians in the selected regions.
Hence, they said having the programme extended would help to consolidate the achievements made and make the programme accessible nationwide.
The grant partners — ActionAid Ghana, South South Cooperational International (CISS), Centre for Local Government Advocacy (CLGA), and Cerath Development Organisation – made the call at a ceremony held in Accra last Monday to mark the end of the programme.
The CSOs received €7.3 million to implement the projects designed to unlock economic opportunities for over 160,000 beneficiaries, 70 per cent of whom were women, youth and persons living with disability in the agricultural sector.
The programme, which was on the theme: “Creating Decent Jobs through Sustainable Agriculture while Promoting Social Protection”, focused on improving living conditions for farmers in nine regions and 63 districts and municipalities across Ghana, covering the ginger value chain, fisheries, cashew and beekeeping.
In collaboration with key stakeholders and government agencies, the CSOs implemented interventions to improve the value chain of the agriculture and fisheries sectors in the Northern Region, North East, Savannah Region, Upper East, Upper West, Greater Accra, Central, Bono and Bono East regions.
It was supervised by the National Authorisation Office (NAO), an entity under Ghana’s Ministry of Finance, with technical assistance from a global consulting firm, Ecorys.
At a closing ceremony held in Accra to climax the five-year programme, a director at Ecorys, Mary Tobbin Osei, said the programme had achieved the purposes for which it was initiated, especially promoting social protection, creating jobs and decent work in the agricultural sector as well as interventions aimed at minimising climate change.
“If I have the power, I will say that this programme should be extended at least for two or three more years because there are still areas that we need to deepen and there are successes that we need to consolidate,” she said.
When various representatives from the CSO’s took their turns to speak, they also highlighted the successes of the various projects their organisations had undertaken in their respective regions and called for extension to augment the programme.
They included a staff of CLGA, Gladys G. N. Tetteh; the Project Manager at CERATH, Derick Adabie, and Country Director of ActionAid, John Nkaw,
“In terms of economic justice, the EU is supporting ActionAid Ghana.
That has helped ActionAid to promote climate resilience, sustainable agriculture as well as re-enforcing them with decent jobs,” Mr Nkaw said.
He also said ActionAid, under the project, had supported young people to go into green beekeeping farming while contributing less to environmental pollution.
The Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to Ghana, Massimo Mina, said the CSO-RISE programme reflected the EU’s commitment to create a more resilient and sustainable future for Ghana.
He added that it was carefully designed to contribute to inclusive growth and reduction in social inequalities through sustainable agricultural practices.
“This programme went beyond mere rhetoric; it translated its vision into tangible results that have positively impacted the lives of over 160,000 beneficiaries, including 70 per cent women, in nine regions across 63 districts and municipalities in Ghana,” he said.
We have witnessed remarkable achievements,” he explained.
He expressed gratitude to the grant partners for their unwavering support and tireless efforts towards the successful implementation of the programme.
The Head of EU/Europe/Americas Unit at the Ministry of Finance, Ebenezer Nortey, said under the programme, 4,013 and 2,279 beneficiaries had been accessing the NHIS and LEAP, respectively, in the targeted regions.
“Your dedication and unwavering commitment have been the driving force behind our accomplishments,” he said.