New phase of Empowerment for Life Programme begins

By Albert Futukpor

Tamale, Feb 06, GNA – Implementing partners under the Empowerment for Life (E4L) Programme have signed a Cooperation Agreement to kick-start a new phase of the programme to contribute to improved resilience, equity, and more accountable governance in the country.

They are Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA) in partnership with Youth Empowerment for Life Ghana (YEFL-Ghana), School for Life (SfL), and Changing Lives in Innovative Partnerships (CLIP) with its Danish partner, Ghana Friends (Ghana Venskab-GV) as the implementing partners with funding from DANIDA through Civil Society in Development (CISU) in Denmark.

The new phase of the E4L Programme, which will span a period of four years, and implemented in 10 districts in the Northern, North East and Savannah Regions, revolves around four thematic areas; accountable and responsive governance, education equity, youth economic and political inclusion, and climate change and resilience.

The districts included Yendi Municipal, Gushegu, Zabzugu, and Tatale-Sangule Districts with Yendi serving as the satellite office in the Northern Region, East Mamprusi, West Mamprusi, and Yunyoo-Nasuan Districts anchored around a satellite office in Nalerigu in the North East Region, and Central Gonja, West Gonja, and Sawla-Tuna-Kalba Districts with the satellite office situated in Damongo in the Savannah Region.

Alhaji Osman Abdel-Rahman, Executive Director, GDCA, speaking after the signing of the Cooperation Agreement in Tamale, said the thematic areas were issues of great concern to the population hence the focus on them to ensure good governance in the country.

The Cooperation Agreement was signed during a four-day orientation workshop for partners under the E4L Programme to update them on the previous phases of the programme and what the new phase entailed.

The E4L Programme, which has been running for over 12 years now, also seeks to engage civil society organisations to advocate for transformative education and equitable allocation and distribution of resources to rural primary schools, increased youth employability and advocacy for their inclusion in decision making processes at local and national level, and to also ensure that climate vulnerable communities use climate resilience strategies and technologies to increase agricultural adaptability and have improved livelihoods.

Alhaji Abdel-Rahman touched on the area of accountability and responsive governance saying it would focus on implementation of the RTI Law and awareness of the law among citizens and public institutions, improved functionality of District Audit Committees, equitable allocation, and timely release of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund, and improved public service delivery from local government institutions.

Madam Wedad Sayibu, Director, SfL, spoke about the education equity aspect of the programme saying the strategic focus areas under this thematic area included promoting and advocating for integration of transformative education methodologies in the formal education system, advocating for fair and transparent allocation, distribution, and utilisation of education resources in primary school using evidence from the target area.

Mr Lukman Yussif, Director, CLIP, said under climate change and resilience, the programme would amongst others be orienting farmers on climate smart agriculture and improved agricultural practices to enable farmers cope with the effects of climate change and produce to not just feed their families but also for income.

Lise Grauenkaer, Programme Coordinator, GV, said the programme recorded a lot of changes during the previous phases saying the new phase had seen an expansion of the programme into new regions and districts to increase the advocacy for improved service delivery to the people.

Mette Brandt, Programme Coordinator, GV, expressed excitement about the new phase saying, “We will take all our good learning from the previous years and put it into the next four years.”