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Celebrating #EndPoverty Day: Community engagement and stakeholder dialogues, and a plan for moving ahead

Kennedy Fosu's picture


For the World Bank Group staff in Ghana, End Poverty Day presented an opportunity for community outreach while drawing attention to issues related to poverty and shared prosperity.
 
In collaboration with companies such as Zoomlion Waste Management Company, and NGOs such as Nshorena and Hen Mpoano, we kick-started this year’s commemoration with an engagement with the Sakumono Fishing village, near Tema, an industrial city near the capital Accra. The outreach included a beach clean-up, pep talk and fun games at the cleaned beach.
 
Christine Dadzie, World Bank community outreach lead, said our Our goal was to sensitize the Sakumono Fishing community on the importance of maintaining their beach environment, and also highlighting the job opportunities available to them if they kept their beaches clean.  It was e also a chance to engage the community on sand winning and how they can contribute to tackling climate change.
 
For us, this is the most important part of End Poverty Day; that the lessons learned go well beyond the day, and become part the fabric of the work of reducing poverty in our country in the days to come.
 
#EndPoverty=Clean Environment

After the clean-up, Nshorena and Hen Mpoano gave a demonstration on illegal fishing methods, sand winning and the need to sustain the beach clean-up so it would attract patronage from visitors. Kofi Agboka, Executive Director of Hen Mpoano said the root to ending poverty would require citizens to change how they dispose of plastics and treated their environment.
 
#EndPoverty=Fun  

The End Poverty Ambassador, MzVee, entertained the crowd with songs and a pep talk about the need to help end poverty in whatever situation one finds herself. WBG Staff and the community then engaged in fun games such as volley ball, 50-meter dash race, and 5 a-side football match. Winners of the various sporting activities were presented with trophies. 
 
#EndPoverty=Food and Jobs

The community engagement was followed with an End Poverty Dialogue on Food and Jobs: Fighting Poverty through Sustainable Agriculture on Monday, Oct 17th 2016, with more than 140 participants ranging from young people, CSO leaders, academics, farmers, government officials, women groups and journalists The End Poverty Day event started with a mini results fair on the World Bank and USAID supported by the Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (GCAP) and the Bank supported West Africa Agricultural Productivity Project (WAAPP 2A) showcasing results of how their projects are helping fight poverty through sustainable agriculture. GCAP is helping to develop irrigation infrastructure by agribusinesses and also working with commercial farmers through grants to small-holder farmers as out-growers in the north of Ghana providing them with the right technological expertise, inputs and markets for their agricultural produce.
 
The WAAPP 2A, a regional programme of which Ghana is a part, showcased how the project had supported the breeding of high yielding crops like rice; root crops like cassava and sweet potatoes, and the rearing of guinea fowl, and have begun distribution to farming communities.
 
The lively discussions bordered  on issues ranging from whether targeted or general agricultural subsidies was the way to go, minimizing risk in agriculture, and the inclusion of agricultural education in the curriculum of basic schools. Participants raised other important points such as right land policies to minimize risk of land acquisition, guarantee market for agriculture commodities through developing the agriculture value chain, making agribusiness attractive to the youth and empowering women farmers to be productive. Participants called for the practice of smart agriculture in the face of challenges from climate change.
 
Mwutor Ablo, a representative of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, said ending poverty would have to be done through the collaboration of several sectors of the economy, as only one intervention could not solve the problem of poverty. According to Ablo, the government of Ghana had, over the past decade, introduced complementary interventions with the objective of addressing hunger, nutrition, poverty and health issues in the country. Gains through this system are being realized. 
 
Godfrey Ewool, a country development practitioner said, “I hope that come next year all what was discussed during End Poverty Day would have seen progress so it does not become a talk shop.”
 
We are already ahead of him. The World Bank Ghana team, in partnership with NGOs, has plans to follow up with the Sakumono beach residents to ensure that the beach cleaning activity continues. Further, through our projects, we will track progress on the discussion points raised with the aim of reporting back in a year what has been achieved, or making amends as needed to #EndPoverty in Ghana as we truly believe #ItsPossible.
 

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