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Ghana Team: Cameroon Experience

In every nation the youth have been acknowledged as an important human resource with the potential to contribute significantly to national development. It is the objective of most nations to develop the capacity of its youth to enable them contribute meaningfully to the society.

In line with the above objective, the Youth Workers of Foundation for Intercultural Learning & Exchange (FILE – GHANA),a non-governmental organisation based in Ghana travelled to Buea – Cameroon in February, 2016 to  participate  in the 2nd transnational seminar organised by Centre for Community Regeneration and Development (Cameroon) in partnership with SVIMED (ITALY) PRISM, (Italy), ACTION SYNERGY S.A  and  FILE-GHANA . The seminar was aimed at building the capacity of youth workers from African and Europe. The programme was very beneficial   having learnt a lot of lessons from well-resourced speakers and as well as good practices from our counterparts from Europe.

Key among the lessons we learnt  was the importance of how we can carry out Monitoring and Evaluation which has become a key component of results and performance-based management.

Some findings we carried from evaluations were used to initiate policy and programme changes during some of our group discussions.  

Also, we used the monitoring and evaluation process to help us contribute to organisational learning through constant exchange of information among our group studies during the program.

 

 

 

 

Youth workers working on group presentation on monitoring and evaluation ( M&E)

 

Monitoring we were told  is the systematic collection and analysis of information as a project progresses, and since it’s a continuous process which entails the  collection of data at multiple points of the project cycle, it is geared towards ensuring effectiveness of project and its implementation. We were also taught  how to used other activities to track some changes in program performance over time

Benefits derived from the evaluation included:

1.         Using M & E as a tool to determine whether or not our programmes should be continued, improved, expanded or discontinued;

2.         We also used the programme to assess the usefulness of a new initiative as youth workers.

3.         We also used the programme to increase the effectiveness of our management on projects and work for others

4.         We also learnt that, the programme was to satisfy the accountability requirements of other sponsors so we are able to carry out all projects and programmes as planned.

 

Putting into practice lessons learnt on projects and monitor them till we see its good results.

 

Monitoring of farms to see crop growth and development process

 

 

Lessons learnt from practical steps to business plan development.

  1. The importance of drawing and using a business plans to operate a small enterprise. We have transferred same knowledge to our local farmers here in Ghana through capacity building workshops. We have also taken up the issue of developing our own business plans for the future.
  2. The projections from the business plans are to help us select the kind of targets to set and how we can get unto the market.
  3. We also learnt how to use our management team to achieve good results and get value for money.
  4. We also using the knowledge to help others know how they can source funds for their projects and also to identify market for their products.

 

Market scene showing harvested crops being displayed on sale

Considering the market and the lessons learnt it is obvious that due to competition for customers, Some traders may not be able to dispose off of their products. When the market is larger, the traders may lose their income. We also learnt how to promote our goods and products various markets. Some of the methods are traditional and others will need more innovation or some technology. In Ghana we use some of the following methods; touting, advertising using telephone calls, TV, radio or the internet or door to door to do sale promotion.

In Ghana, the trade fair system was practiced , unfortunately this system is now poorly patronized due to the influx of cheap imported products. These are few methods our farmers use to promote their markets. Very big companies use the website to promote their goods.

Another essential skill we acquired from the seminar is the formation of a company. We were put in different groups and taught how to form companies. Some of the lessons learnt include the following;

  1. Identification of products we can grow, how to market them, process and later sell them for income.
  2. We also designed our own logo to register for businesses, we further learnt about packaging and selling the products.
  3. We also used some of the knowledge from the seminar to try to introduce our products into the markets both local and international.
  4. We also learnt about strategies to  adapt to introduce our products into to market and to attract buyers  to the our products

We also embarked on study  visits to cocoa and palm oil farm to see at 1st hand how these crops are cultivated, processed, marketed for the public use.  

 

A visit to a farm to see how cocoa and oil palm is cultivated and managed

Conclusion

The above lessons learnt in this seminar have enriched our knowledge about various farming practices and small business development methods which we can also impact on other youth in our communities. We are looking forward to hosting the youth workers and staff from our sister Countries in Ghana and to share best practices with them as we take them through the typical Agro system Ghana.

 

Ghana Team

This project is co-funded by the European Commission. This publication reflects the views of the author only and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use of the information contained therein

Contact Details

Contact the Coordinator of the project

Name: Emilia Arabito

E-Mail: e.arrabito@svimed.eu

Organisation: SVIMED

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