It is Time for a Paradigm Shift from the Dependency Mentality in Ghana
Star Ghana Foundation and its strategic partner, the West Africa Civil Society Institute -WACSI, launched the Giving for Change Project in Ghana with a clarion call on citizens to maximise local giving and local philanthropy. The call comes as a result of the dwindling source of funds from Western countries which can partly be attributed to donor fatigue and the global financial downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Giving for Change Project is part of the “strengthening the civil society framework’’ programme funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Under the framework, the Dutch government is supporting local community activities in 8 countries, including Ghana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Brazil, Kenya, Mozambique, Palestine, and Uganda. The goal of the programme is to promote domestic resource mobilisation and local philanthropy as a strategy for increasing local ownership.
The well-attended event held in the conference hall of Tomreik Hotel on 17 June 2021 was under the theme: “Promoting Social Justice Philanthropy for Inclusive and Sustainable Development in Ghana’’. All the speakers made a strong case for the need to ignite local giving.
Speaking at the launch of the 5-year project in Ghana, Hamdiya Ismaila, representing the Governing Council of Star-Ghana Foundation, charged civil society organisations (CSOs) to build local sources of funding in their initiatives. According to her, this will help CSOs to take direct ownership.
The Chairman of the launch and former Managing Director of Stanbic Bank Ghana, Naa Alhassan Adani, now a chief, advanced his case from the cultural perspective of local giving. He charged Ghanaians to leverage existing cultural values that ignite local giving.
According to him, Ghana and Ghanaians alike need a “paradigm shift away from the dependency mentality that focuses on the central government for development’’.
While advocating for more sustainable funding, Dr Kofi Osei-Kusi, a renowned Ghanaian philanthropist with the Osei -Kusi Foundation, opined that “the surest way to achieving sustainable and inclusive social justice is by galvanising local giving and local philanthropy for development”.
He further urged Ghanaians to understand that prevailing circumstances are pushing nations and individuals to be self-reliant. Hence, he admonished Ghanaians to embrace local resource mobilisation.
Kwami Sefa-Kai, a renowned Broadcast Journalist with the Despite Media Group, and a philanthropist with the Kokorokoo Charity Foundation – a not-for-profit foundation that supports health facilities across Ghana with child incubators lauded the Giving for Change initiative in Ghana. Leveraging on his experience, he mentioned that mobilising funds demands trust, networking, patience, and a lot more fortitude from fundraisers or project implementers to achieve set targets. He expressed optimism about the Giving for Change project in Ghana.
H.E Ronald Strikker, the Dutch Ambassador to Ghana, expressed optimism about the Giving for Change Project, stating that “Ghana is a free country and, that’s a fantastic thing because it is not always the case in other countries”. He later assured the continued support of the Dutch Government towards the project.
The statements made by these prominent figures engenders hope in the project that will be implemented between January 2021 and January 2025. The Giving for Change programme promotes a development agenda that is driven by the people and for the people.