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Indigenous Knowledge Program for Development



IK Cases


Knowledge Pack : Ghana

This Knowledge Pack contains Indigenous Knowledge cases and other useful information related to Ghana. The indigenous knowledge pack is a tool that provides users with quick access to synthesized information by country or selected thematic area.

For more Information on the
Indigenous Knowledge Program
please contact: Reinhard Woytek

Local IK Sources


Bank Projects related
to IK


Other Sources


Contributions





IK Cases
Agriculture Science at the Grassroots Ghana Grains Development Project
Education Koran teaching as an alternative to formal education
Social Development Youth promote tree planting as ecologically/commercially viable solution to land conflicts

Redefining local governance

Out-migrated villagers support their home community


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Youth promote tree planting as ecologically/commercially viable solution to land conflicts

In Forikrom, a community of 6,000 people in north-Central Ghana, young people mobilized to intervene in a bitter conflict that had arisen between priests of the traditional religion and disciples of a militant Protestant sect over the progressive drying up of a creek thought to be invested with supernatural powers. The youths pointed out that the deforestation of the zone had played a large role in the loss of the water source, and they launched a massive tree-planting operation with the technical support of state agencies and NGOs, which provided related training. The activity re-sulted in the development of a whole cycle of forestry training courses in Forikrom, the establish-ment of a very profitable teak farming business, and its progressive diversification into every aspect of organic agriculture, not to speak of appeasement of the original religious conflict. The commu-nity is now recognized throughout the region as a specialist in this area.

Lesson: Taking ownership of natural resources through a community based organization helps to reclaim land, provides additional income and earns recognition for locally developed knowledge and skills

Source:
University of Florida

External Link
: IK Notes No. 9



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Redefining local governance

In 1979 the residents of Nwodua, a village of 640 people located 20 kilometers from Tamale in northern Ghana, set up their own adult literacy program with the assistance of teachers from neighboring villages. Instructors were paid in kind by manual labor on their farms, and were replaced if they grew dissatisfied with this small salary. The group of newly literate adults then managed to convince the Bishopric of the Catholic church to establish a primary school in Nwodua, and ar-ranged for the village to become the center of a new functional literacy project in the Dagbani region. As one result of its role in the regional literacy project, the village was also able to establish a permanent Adult Primary School in the community. Members of the group succeeded next in using these initial accomplishments as selling points to different NGOs and aid agencies and acquiring from them support for new activities: establishment of a commercial tree nursery and a soap factory, purchase and operation of a grain mill, construction of a new road linking the village to the main interurban route. But the most remarkable aspect of the experience is undoubtedly the fashion in which the residents of Nwodua remodeled their community government system to sup-port this program of activities and its diverse effects. A large share of authority seems to have been transferred without a hitch from the traditional chief to a General Development Committee elected from the initiators of the various experiments. The committee has in turn created a series of sub-committees to oversee the different socioeconomic projects currently underway.

Lesson:
Villagers realize the value of education, organize adult literacy in self-help and gradually transform their community.

Source:
University of Florida

External Link:
IK Notes No. 7


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Out-migrated villagers support their home community

For more than 50 years Mafi-Kumase had good access to primary and nearby secondary school facilities due to missionary activity and dedication of residents. Many of the educated youth eventually moved to Accra in pursuit of better professional opportunities. According to their tradition, they maintained very close contact with their home community. In 1960 they established an association called MAKAYA (Mafi-Kumase Area Youth Association) to serve as a link to their community and to support its development. MAKAYA subsequently became the driving force in launching a series of investments and community development activities in the village area. Thanks to its contacts in the capital and abroad, the association has been able to raise funds to which the villagers themselves would not have had access, and to secure favorable judgments from the Ghanaian administration, especially with regard to the authorization of projects and investments. In addition, the association holds a three-day conference and general assembly each spring in Mafi-Kumase, in the course of which MAKAYA members, village residents and local leadership discuss the priority needs of the region, the results of current projects, and future prospects.

Lesson:
Former rural-urban migrant form an association, raise funds for transfers and lobby the government for support of their original community.

Source:
University of Florida


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Koran teaching as an alternative to formal education

Three West African communities - Kambguni in southeast Ghana, Menengou in northern Burkina Faso and Niagara in eastern Guinea - provide striking examples of a type of human resource development long present in the region but seldom officially recognized: the application of reading and technical competencies acquired through Islamic instruction to development functions at the local level. In all three cases, adults schooled in Koranic instruction have assumed key accounting functions in local businesses and community enterprises. In the Guinean and Burkina Faso cases, NGOs have joined the effort and helped develop accounting systems and agricultural extension materials using Arabic character transcription of local African languages.

Lesson:
Building on traditional education systems opens literacy and eventually job opportunities for youths not attending formal schools

Source:
University of Florida

External Link:
IK Notes No. 11


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Science at the Grassroots Ghana Grains Development Project

Agricultural research projects funded by CIDA and IDRC are increasingly benefiting from indignous knowledge, which has played a key role in developing appropriate techniques and research follow-up. A CIDA-supported grain development project in Ghana focuses on listening to the farmers, most of them being women. This not only determines their needs, but also, once these new improved varieties are developed, assists in disseminating the new knowledge. Women farmers also play an essential role in the preservation of traditional grains.

Lesson:
Women as carriers of knowledge are important sources of information for scientific research and make credible and convincing extension agents

Source:
CIDA Grain Development Project

External Link:
CIDA Grain Development Project



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Local IK Sources

CECIK
Centre for Cosmovisions and Indigenous Knowledge
Dr. David Millar, Director
C/o TAAP
PO Box 42
Tamale, Northern Region
Tel: 233-71-22203
Mobile: 233-27890294
Email: cecik@africaonline.com.gh

GHARCIK
Ghana Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge
Dr. M. Bonsu, Director
School of Agriculture
University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast
Tel: 233-42-32709
Email: csucc@ghana.com

GEO
Green Earth Organization
Joshua, Executive Director
PO Box AN 16641
Accra
Tel: 233-21-232762
Fax: 233-21-230455
Email: greeneth@ncs.com.gh

SWEU
Sadama Women Empowerment Union
Lame Futah, Director
PO Box 4620
Accra
Tel: 233-21-229605
Fax: 233-21-223903
Email: greeneth@ncs.com.gh

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Bank Projects

Local communities partner with government to stop illegal deforestation
In 1993, illegal felling of timber trees on farms soared due to the opening of a new roundlogs market in the Far East. The Forestry Department responded by setting up a Working Group comprised of community chiefs, farmers, foresters, and timbermen (as representatives of the public and private sectors, and of the local communities) to analyze the situation and devise a new system to regulate timber harvesting on farms. A radical new set of "Interim Measures", based on new rules for timber felling, were formulated to regulate timber production. This enabled the Forestry Department, with the help of farmers, to monitor the movement of logs from stump to port.
The results: illegal logging has been almost totally stopped; farmers and landowning communities are now able to rightfully collect token fees and compensation payments at time of felling; the timber industry is performing better as the legal timber operators have gained a measure of job security, and log prices have increased; the resource base has been protected as timber production fell to levels considered to be sustainable; Government revenue collection from timber royalties quadrupled.
Full report: Full Text Document.

The Rural Finance Services Project

Seeks to promote growth, and reduce poverty in Ghana, broadening financial inter-mediation in rural areas, by strengthening operational linkages between micro-finance institutions, and rural and community banks, and building their capacities. The components will: 1) focus on strengthening micro-finance, by developing, organizing, and training communities, and, supporting capacity building for micro-finance institutions, within the existing initiatives, such as the Ghana Micro-finance Network, Susu groups, women's banking initiatives, and cooperatives, and credit unions; 2) focus on restructuring weak rural banks, strengthening their operational effectiveness, and the internal controls of all rural banks, providing information technology, logistics, and staff training. Banking rationalization will be improved through a defined criteria, linked to the individual rural bank capacity; 3) finance technical assistance needed to implement, operate, and train an apex bank for the rural, and community banks, and, support its initial capacity building activities; 4) provide support to the Bank of Ghana, namely, the Banking Supervision, and Rural Finance Inspection Departments, upgrading staff skills, and improving technologies, enabling effective project activities.
Full Report: PAD


Second Community Water and Sanitation Project
The Adaptable Program Loan Supports the Government of Ghana in extending sustainable water and sanitation facilities to 85 percent of the rural population by the year 2009 and in establishing a sustainable operations and maintenance system in rural communities and small towns. The Second Community Water and Sanitation Project (CWSP2) will be implemented in three 3-year phases. The first phase for CWSP2 aims to increase service coverage, and achieve effective and sustained use of improved community water and sanitation in villages and small towns in four regions. There are two main project components. The Community Subprojects component provides grants to communities and schools through their district assemblies for construction of water and sanitation facilities and finances technical assistance and community development activities to strengthen community capacity to plan, implement, operate, and maintain water and sanitation facilities in an effective and sustainable manner. Community subprojects include protected communal hand-dug wells, communal boreholes equipped with handpumps, a mechanized boreholes, a surface water supply system, a protected spring source, rainwater catchment, and household and school latrines. The second component strengthens stakeholder capacity by supporting the private sector and nongovernmental organizations as providers of hardware and software services, and provides national program development.
Full Report: PAD








 

Other Sources

Bank Sources

Indigenous Knowledge for Development Link to the Homepage of the Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program of the Africa Region

Database of Indigenous Knowledge and Practices Link to the Database of Practices of the Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program of the Africa Region

IK Notes Newsletter Link to the IK Notes of the Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program of the Africa Region

An Introduction to the Microfinance Institutions Contact List

External Sources

Register for Best Practices in Indigenous Knowledge Link to the database of Best Practices of UNESCO

Nuffic/CIRAN IK Development Monitor and Addresses of Other IK Centers Link to the Addresses of Other IK Centers and CIRAN's IK-Pages

 Please send feedback or comments to rwoytek@worldbank.org

Should you know of other indigenous knowledge practices that have helped or may help to improve Bank programs, please share them with us. We will enter your contribution into the IK-Database.

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IK Contributing Format

1. Country:

Where is the practice applied (country and location)?

2. Domain:

In which sector is the practice applied (agriculture, health, social development etc.)?

3. Technology:

What technology (e.g. soil erosion control, childcare, institutional development etc.)?

4. Bearers of Knowledge:

By whom is the practice applied (e.g. Washambaa, local healers, women's group of a given village etc.)?

5. Source:

Where can we inquire further?

Primary provider information (probably yourself or your institution)

Secondary providers of information

Add references to literature, web sites, names of individuals or organizations that can corroborate the practice.

Include addresses of primary and secondary providers of information.

6. Descriptive headline of practice:

One to two lines capturing the main features of a practice.

7. Summary:

Describe the main features of the practice and explain (not more than 200 words).

8. Lessons:

Answer three key questions related to efficacy and impact of the practice.

- Why it is important for the local community?

- Why might it be beneficial to other communities?

- Why should development organizations learn more about this practice?

9. Methods used to capture information:

How was the practice identified, recorded and documented?

NB:

The IK database is an open, on-line resource for information on indigenous knowledge practices. The database acts as a referral system and does not disclose the technical details of practices or applications. Most practices in the database have been reported elsewhere in publicly accessible information sources. As is the principle of a referral database the provider of information could be asked by users of the database to provide further information or pointers as regards details of the practice. It is to the discretion of the provider of information and the inquirer to negotiate the terms of the exchange of knowledge. No information provided will be made public without the consent of the provider.

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