Solidaridad, an international civil society organization in collaboration with TrustAfrica Foundation has organized training and capacity-building workshop in Kumasi for civil society organizations, the media, women and groups aimed at promoting inclusive growth and sustainable supply chains in the cocoa and oil palm sectors in Ghana.
The workshop is part of a five-year programme dubbed, “RECLAIM Sustainability”, which seeks to contribute to sustainable and inclusive cocoa and oil palm supply chains, in which producers receive a fair value for their produce and work under safe conditions.
Farmers, artisanal small-scale miners and workers in Ghana are key players in tackling major challenges such as poverty and climate change, yet their voices are often unheard.
The “RELCAIM Sustainability” Programme being implemented by Solidaridad, an international civil society organization in collaboration with TrustAfrica Foundation will therefore create a civic space, where the interests, voices and rights of farmers, workers and citizens are represented and heard indecision making while promoting a supportive public sector, a responsible private sector and a vibrant and strong civil society. This, Solidaridad, believes, is needed to contribute to an inclusive and sustainable economy.
The training and capacity-building workshop in Kumasi was to equip civil society organizations, the media and women in leadership positions with the knowledge and tools to become gender advocates in their communities. This is expected to contribute to a sustainable oil palm and cocoa production, trade and resilient livelihoods for those in the value chains, especially women and small-scale farmers.
The need for capacity building was driven by previous engagement by Solidaridad and TrustAfrica to understand the level of women’s involvement and strength in advocacy activities around land rights and other challenges affecting women farmers in the two sectors.
An Energy and Extractive Consultant, Madam Pauline Anaman, who was the resource person, said policies developed using the top-to-bottom approach become ineffective because smallholders and local communities whose livelihoods are affected and influenced by the policies are not involved in the formulation and decision-making processes.
The West Africa Programme Coordinator for Solidaridad, Madam Gyabaah Rachel explained that the advocacy training would help for inclusive dialogue, amplify voices and accelerate
innovations to ensure sustainable natural resources management.
The Trust Africa Foundation Programme Manager, Dr. Bethule Nyamambi where civil society organizations could influence national policies, particularly in the mining sector, their voices are limited due to several constraints, which include the fragmented efforts of actors involved in engaging the government, and the lack of capacity to mobilize like-minded actors to enter into dialogue, coalitions, and propose new solutions in advocacy.
She was hopeful that at the end of the workshop, the capacity of civil society groups will be improved to bargain for equitable access and sustainable use of natural resources.