The capital city of Ghana, Accra, is one of the wealthiest and most modern cities on the continent, and is currently experiencing a period of rapid growth and urbanization. Although the country’s GDP continues to rise with oil production, gold mining and other industries, the majority of this wealth is not distributed among the population due to high corruption. As a result, most of Ghana’s poor live in rural areas without basic services such as health care and clean water. Small-scale farmers, who are affected most by rural poverty in Ghana, depend on outdated farming tools and lack access to improved seeds and fertilizers to increase crop yields.
Most of the people living with hunger in Ghana are smallholder farmers living in rural areas of the country. Many rely on rain-fed agriculture and are experiencing new challenges due to climate change. Food in Ghana is particularly vulnerable to price shocks, which can often make basic products unaffordable. COVID-19 has exacerbated these conditions.
Formerly a British colony, in 1957, Ghana (bordered by the Côte D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Togo) became the first colonial country in Sub-Saharan Africa to gain its independence. After a period of turbulence, with several military coups, a stable democracy was established in the 1990’s and remains to this day.
Our Work in Ghana
In Africa, The Hunger Project works to build sustainable community-based programs using the Epicenter Strategy. An epicenter is a dynamic center of community mobilization and action, as well as an actual facility built by community members. Through the Epicenter Strategy, typically 5,000-15,000 people are brought together as a cluster of rural villages, giving villages more clout with local government than a single village is likely to have while also increasing a community’s ability to collectively utilize resources. The epicenter building serves as a focal point where the motivation, energies and leadership of the people converge with the resources of local government and non-governmental organizations. Over an eight-year period, an epicenter addresses hunger and poverty and moves along a path toward sustainable self-reliance, at which point it is able to fund its own activities and no longer requires financial investment from The Hunger Project.
The Hunger Project has been working in Ghana since 1995 and is empowering community partners to end their own hunger and poverty. Through its integrated approach to rural development, the Epicenter Strategy, The Hunger Project is working with partners to successfully access the basic services needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and lead lives of self-reliance.
Smallholder farmers face many challenges, such as poor soils, damaging pests, or unsuitable irrigation. THP-Ghana works with farmers to address these challenges and develop climate-resilient and sustainable farming practices. THP recruits Animators—or community volunteers—to train in well-tested farming techniques and technologies such as composting, micro-dosing, water management, row-planting and inputs such as improved hand-held tools, seed varieties and compost starters.
The Animators, in turn, train their fellow villagers and bring training to the farmers in the epicenter’s more outlying villages. Improving agricultural productivity is a key strategy for increasing food security and improving incomes on the small
farms at the epicenter.
Meaningful access for women
THP-Ghana is piloting a new program, in partnership with ISP-provider BlueTown, Microsoft and USAID, to support economic empowerment for young women by providing them meaningful connectivity and eliminating barriers for women’s digital inclusion. Three epicenters in Ghana now host a fully connected ICT center, with trained micro-operators to assist women and the youth of the epicenters to gain access to training and other important content on cloud. This initial pilot will connect around 6,000 women to vital resources and knowledge that they will utilize to create waves of lasting development in their communities.
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