Effort to RECLAIM Sustainability! in Ghana Launched

Ghana has launched the RECLAIM Sustainability! programme, which seeks to foster inclusive sustainable supply chains in which the interests, voices and rights of farmers, workers and citizens are represented and heard in decision-making.

In Ghana, the programme will contribute to the cocoa, oil palm and gold supply chains with a focus on resource inefficiency, waste and depletion of natural resources, fair value distribution, child labour, and social inclusion. 

Strengthening civil society organizations

Under the cocoa and oil palm supply chains, the programme will strengthen civil society organizations to effectively represent their constituents in policies and decisions in the agricultural sector, as well as increase women and youth representation in  policy dialogues and decision-making processes. 

“Solidaridad seeks to build a vibrant and strong CSO that engages with public and private decision-makers, monitors implementation, enforces policies and mechanisms, and safeguards gender and social inclusion,” said Isaac Kwadwo Gyamfi, regional director of Solidaridad West Africa, at a brief ceremony to officially launch the programme, on 30 July 2021.

Opening up civic space to give voice to producers and workers

Isaac Gyamfi indicated that the civic space in Ghana’s agro-ecological landscape is narrowed and continually shrinking, affecting the ability of farmers, workers, and civil societies to claim and defend economic, social, ecological and political rights, and influence decision-making.

“The RECLAIM Sustainability! programme will, therefore, create a civic space where the interests, voices and rights of these groups are represented and heard,” said Isaac Gyamfi. This, he believes, would  contribute to an inclusive and sustainable economy, with prosperity and inclusion for all, as well as healthier ecosystems. 

Regional Director of Solidaridad West Africa Isaac Gyamfi delivering his address at the launch.

Effective partnership for sustainability

Implemented with TrustAfrica and with funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the RECLAIM Sustainability! programme in Ghana will collaborate with the Ghana Cocoa Board, Ghana Tree Crop Development Authority, Ghana Association of Small-scale Miners, Women in Mining, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, and the Minerals Commission to make sustainability and inclusivity the norm in the cocoa, oil palm and gold sectors.

The Executive Director of TrustAfrica, Dr Ebrima Sall, said his organization was pleased to partner Solidaridad to build the capacity of farmers and other workers, and civil society to strategically position them to influence policy within the West Africa subregion.

Executive Director of TrustAfrica Dr Ebrima Sall addressing participants at the launch.

“TrustAfrica finds the RECLAIM Sustainability! programme exciting given its great transformative potential. We look forward to  seeing greater equity in the value chains and progress  in decent working conditions and living wages for all as well as economic rights, and gender equity,” he said.

For his part, Ron Strikker, the Dutch Ambassador to Ghana, said the Dutch government  was happy to support the programme as it complements its strategic plan for Ghana. He pledged the Dutch government’s continued partnership with the Government of Ghana, the private sector and civil society through dialogue to help eliminate child labour and mainstream gender in the thematic sectors of agriculture.

Launching the programme,  Nico Roozen, the Honorary President of Solidaridad Network, said he was looking forward to seeing all the implementing countries work towards the goal of advocating through inclusive dialogues to influence agendas and accelerate disruptive innovations for the benefit  of farmers, miners and workers. 

I am convinced that if we strengthen civil society and form partnerships, and increase civic space, as well as apply a gender and social-inclusion approach, we will influence the public and private sectors in making sustainability a norm, towards alleviating poverty.

Nico Roozen, the Honorary President of Solidaridad Network

The RECLAIM Sustainability! programme is implemented by a consortium of six Solidaridad Regional Expertise Centres (REC) and three external consortium partners. In Africa, Solidaridad West Africa will be working with TrustAfrica and local civil society to reclaim sustainability for cocoa and oil palm farmers, miners, cooperatives and other workers. The five-year programme is also implemented in Côte d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone.