Just Hope launches project in Ghana
April 15, 2015
We are excited to announce that Project Manager Peter Mueller has arrived in Ghana. As we wait for improved working conditions in Sierra Leone, Peter’s plans in Ghana are to establish a base of operations and assemble a core team that works to build the capacity of smallholder farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs to boost food security and increase household income.
Ghana’s poverty is a result of isolated communities caused by weak infrastructure and fragmented markets and institutions. While Ghana’s cities, such as the capital city of Accra, offer modern conveniences and technology, its rural areas are drastically isolated and suffer poverty at a level similar to Sierra Leone and Togo. There is a dramatic difference between the quality of life in cities and rural areas. In relative terms, Ghana is among the more stable countries in West Africa.
About three times as large as Sierra Leone, Ghana also has about four times as many people, making it more population-dense than Sierra Leone. While average income is about twice that in Sierra Leone, most of that increase is with city jobs. Rural residents are usually subsistence farmers.
“Ghana is made up of many ethnic groups, yet shares many West African cultural traits also found in Sierra Leone and Togo,” said Peter. “English is the country’s official language, and Just Hope will be able to leverage its previous experiences in West Africa as it establishes the new work in Ghana.”
Having previously lived in Ghana, Peter’s knowledge of the country and a network of contacts will be helpful as he sets up a base office. While the details of how we will serve in Ghana won’t emerge until Peter is able to connect with community groups and learn the true extent of their interests and ideas, most likely we will be using conservation agriculture and village savings and loan associations as tools to help smallholder farmers better manage their available resources.