A Partner West Africa News Story
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Around 200 people attended the AGM of local NGO, Development Action Association, a group united by gender equality and economic empowerment
Around 200 people attended the AGM of local NGO, Development Action Association, a group united by gender equality and economic empowerment
A member of the DAA explains the benefits of a new type of fish smoking oven
Various group members and local stakeholders & supporters spoke at the meeting about womens economic empowerment
Partner West Africa spoke about continuing to collaborate with the DAA in the future
Swearing in the new directors of the DAA, a group works to reduce poverty by empowering group members to be self-reliant and to participate fully in their own development

Partner West Africa Attends the Development Action Association Annual General Meeting

Date Posted: 18/01/2017

On January 17th 2017, the office of the Development Action Association (DAA) in Bortianor, a village local to Partner West Africa, hosted the DAA Annual General Meeting. Over 200 stakeholders, village chiefs & elders, partners, local NGO’s and members of the DAA attended to hear about the work of the DAA in the various regions of Ghana through presentations from some of its members.

On January 17th 2017, the office of the Development Action Association (DAA) in Bortianor, a village local to Partner West Africa (PWA), hosted the DAA Annual General Meeting. Over 200 stakeholders, village chiefs & elders, partners, local NGO’s and members of the DAA attended to hear about the work of the DAA in the various regions of Ghana through presentations from some of its members.

The DAA is an association of rural farmers in Ghana that works to reduce poverty by empowering group members to be self-reliant and to participate fully in their own development. Ghana has an estimated population of 27 million of which just under half (12.5 million) live in rural areas; the DAA operates in 64 communities across the Greater Accra, Central, Eastern and Western regions of Ghana with the vast majority of its beneficiaries being rural women whose livelihoods are built around the fishing industry. 

The purpose of the DAA is to improve fish processing and hygiene including proper preparation and fish drying, promoting sustainable methods of fishing and advocating new technological advances in equipment and techniques. One of these new advances was on show: the Ahotor oven (pictured). The adaptions to this type of oven cause the smoke to be released from the top benefitting the women with reduced smoke inhalation and also providing better fuel economy. Past improvements in fish processing include the raised drying technique as opposed to drying the fish in the sun on the floor.

Presentations given in two local languages, Ga and Twi, explained that the fishing community are working in an increasingly difficult economic environment: fish stocks in the area are dwindling caused by factors such as global warming and irresponsible fishing and for many women there are few feasible alternative options of employment. Girls living in fishing communities are surrounded by the economic activity of fish processing and are taught the skills and expertise needed to succeed in this line of work from a young age.

The DAA recognised the difficulties of urbanisation and changing land use; rural communities are becoming increasingly urban as the world’s population expands and consequently demands more resources and physical space. They acknowledged the need to adapt, to adopt different approaches tailored to the changing needs of the populations and their communities, these adjustments, if made with the community’s needs put first, can lead to positive change. However, these changes cannot be made alone, all stakeholders have a responsibility to support the initiatives.

Local stakeholders and supporters were invited to speak in support of the DAA. PWA’s Project Manager Inusah, stepped up and expressed our encouragement to the DAA and recognised the important contribution they make to their families, communities and profession. Being an NGO that focusses on collaboration and joint working PWA is looking forward to continuing to work with the DAA to further improve the opportunities open to local women and their families.

The meeting ended with the new directors being sworn in, an honour to serve their community and the DAA as a whole.

Matt Craig, Executive Director of PWA, said “what struck us as an organisation, who has attended many similar events in the past, was the engaged, uplifting atmosphere; it’s very refreshing to witness an AGM that was clearly a celebration”.

Author: Partner West Africa

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