The Ecovillage Association of Ghana (GEN Ghana) and Denmark (LOES) has established an ideal north south cooperation to build capacity of civil societies and ecovillages in Ghana with support from the Civil Society Fund in Denmark (CISU)
The north south cooperation for ecovillages development in Ghana begun with a partnership grant between Ghana and Denmark to develop ecovillage movements in Ghana. Through this, a member of GEN Ghana, the Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture (KITA) received a partnership grant to build the capacity of GEN Ghana.
GEN Ghana was a loose network of ecovillage members, unable to meet because of wide distances and low commitment of members to travel to a mutual place for discussions, facilitation and cooperation. There was also inadequate knowledge of the ecovillages and ecovillage projects in Ghana, most people and government had not heard about ecovillages and its potential for sustainable development and there was general lack of coordination among members in the ecovillage movement.
Through the project “Building the Network, Spreading Eco-strategies in Ghana”, a mapping of ecovillages was conducted to identify ecovillages and potential ecovillage projects in Ghana, two national ecovillage conferences were organized in October 2015 and March 2016 respectively, an Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) was held between February 15th 2016 and March 15th, 2016 as well as council and committee meetings held to strengthen the cooperation, organisational structure of GEN Ghana, networking among members, capacity building of members and advocacy within government to understand the role of ecovillages in sustainable development.
There has been mentoring and coaching from the Danish Association of Ecovillages for the Ghanaian Association of Ecovillages to strengthen its governance, project management and administrative structures as well as advocacy potential.
This has resulted in a strong ecovillage movement in Ghana moving towards sustainability.
To date GEN Ghana and GEN Denmark has developed a new proposal to CISU that is developing eco-schools in Ghana through a Moringa Organic Farming and Nutrition in 7 schools in 7 regions in Ghana.
Camilla Englyst -Nielsen, the secretary to the Danish Association of Ecovillages said, developing the capacity of civil society organisations to be able to advocate for the integration of eco-strategies in communities is key to sustainable development. The Danish Association of Ecovillages sees potential in strengthening the capacity of ecovillages in the south to be stronger in advocating for ecovillages for sustainable development at the National and Community levels.
Mr. Lovans Owusu-Takyi, the secretary general of GEN Ghana, expresses profound appreciation to the Danish Ecovillages Association and the Civil Society Fund of Denmark for the unrelenting support in developing ecovillages in Ghana.
The Ghana Ecovillage Network is a network of ecovillages aimed at developing sustainable human settlements by improving the ecological, economic, socio-cultural and spiritual well-being of communities through participatory processes.