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IBIS in Ghana

Morris Gbessagee in Accra Ghana

IBIS in Ghana works towards quality education for all children and youngsters. At the same time we support civil society in order to strengthen the population’s rights and participation in decision-making processes. IBIS has close to 50 partners in Ghana. There are 45 employees and in 2012 turnover topped DKK 14 million.

Education for Empowerment

Ghana has experienced great economic and social developments in the last couple of decades but the remote northern regions are still underdeveloped and thousands of children are without access to education, or have unqualified teachers and therefore graduate without having learned to read or write.

IBIS works to rectify this by increasing access to education for girls and other marginalised groups; improving the quality of teaching for all; and involving parents and communities directly in the management and monitoring of schools. All projects are carried out through partnerships with local organisations and in collaboration with local and national government institutions.

Education and cocoa production

Coccoa Farmers in Ghana

Ghana is widely known for it’s cocoa production. Unfortunately, child labour has been widespread in the growing and harvesting. As a major producer of chocolate, the Danish confectionery company Toms buys many of its cocoa beans from Ghanaian plantations, and has therefore takeen a stand on the matter.

In 2007, Toms and IBIS formed a partnership to improve conditions in the cocoa producing communities in Ghana. The project has continued for more than 5 years, securing better education for the children, improving working conditions for cocoa farmers, and raising awareness about children’s rights and child labour. In 2013, the Danish supermarket chain Coop joined the partnership and current activities are carried out in collaboration with the Ghanaian cocoa buying company Armajaro Ghana Ltd.


Information campaigns and a weekly radio programme on children’s rights and child labour
Training of teachers in child-centred and gender sensitive teaching methods
Distribution of books and reading schedules
Improvement of school management structures
Support to further education for teachers
Introduction of new and improved techniques in cocoa production

Partners: PROMAG, CODESULT Network, Source Trust
Donors: Toms Group, Coop Denmark, Danida


More than 80 cocoa producing communities will have been involved in the project by 2015
330 untrained teachers have been supported to train to become professional teachers
As of December 2013, 665 educated teachers have been trained in new methods to improve students' understanding and results
Since 2013, 4800 cocoa farmers are being trained in sustainable farming practices to get a better harvest while protecting the environment and securing good working conditions
From 2008 to 2010, the pass rate for the Basic Education Certificate rose from 39% to 67% in the project communities

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HIV outreach and education

PAPADEV outreach officer demonstrates the femidome for a group of women from the Mandari Village

According to UNAIDS numbers from 2012, around 240,000 people are infected with HIV in Ghana including 28,000 children under 14 years of age. Approximately 190,000 children are orphaned due to AIDS. As part of the effort to ensure that education is relevant and useful for the students, IBIS works to include HIV and AIDS education in schools and surrounding communities in areas with high prevalence and little knowledge.

IBIS’ HIV information and education activities started in 2005 together with the local organisation PAPADEV, to address the low knowledge about HIV and AIDS in the districts of Bole and Sawla-Tuna-Kalba, particularly among the youth.

Traditional and religious leaders are also approached and encouraged to embrace sexuality as a part of life to enable them to confront issues such as HIV and AIDS, as well as for example sexual violence, through frank and open discussions. The activities aim to change behaviours and attitudes in order to break the stigma on HIV and AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, and to encourage openness and discussion for prevention and support to affected people.


Support to start-up of activist groups
Theatre performances and documentary film screenings
Training of peer-group educators in schools
Distribution of traditional and female condoms with demonstrations of their use

Partners: CENFAD, PAPADEV, SCAN Donors: Danida, SIDA, Stop AIDS Now!


The programme is carried out in 40 schools and communities in the Bole and Sawla-Tuna-Kalba Districts
All activities are coordinated in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health, District Assembly and DOSI (a local association of people living with HIV and AIDS)

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Democratic influence

In order for a democracy to truly represent the will of the people, the people need to make their voices heard. IBIS works with poor and marginalized people to help them gain confidence, make their voices heard, and influence democratic processes.

In Ghana, old cultures are still very much alive, including a tradition for older male-dominated leadership. IBIS does not oppose local cultures, but wishes to allow all people to access their right to influence the decisions that affect their lives. People and civil society groups are supported with education and training to be able to monitor and track public budgets and spending, hold leaders accountable, and secure a fair allocation of funds. Special care is given to include women, youth and people with disabilities.

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Radio for better governance

IBIS in Ghana and its partner Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) have since early 2013 collaborated on a project that seeks to bring citizen concerns directly to politicians through the use of radio.

The project, which is named “Using Radio to Promote Effective and Participatory Local Governance in Northern Ghana”, gives people in northern Ghana the chance to demand accountability from leaders in their respective districts, municipalities and metropolitan areas by using the reach of media. MFWA works with a number of radio stations in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern regions to enable citizens to engage with political assembly members on issues related to local development and democracy.

Specifically, the project helps participating radio stations to develop news stories, radio documentaries and talk shows that increase citizens’ understanding and knowledge of the work of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies with the aim to deepen the understanding and participation by citizens in the governance process in their localities. Issues debated on the radio include access to information, funds and expenditures, and the status of public development plans.

Eight radio stations are participating in the project: Diamond FM, Justice FM, URA Radio, Word FM, A1 Radio FM, Radford FM, Quality FM, and Radio Upper West. Direct results of the increased interaction between citizens and politicians so far include the provision of furniture and lights to primary schools and the installation of streetlights in otherwise dark towns.

Partner: MFWA

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Extractive industries

Mining of natural resources dates back to Ghana’s colonial past and continues to be one of the most important sources of revenue. Gold, bauxite, manganese ore, and since recently also oil and gas are the most coveted resources. There are, however, a lot of criticisms about the effect of mining on local environments. International companies have been known to exploit legal loopholes and violate both human rights and environmental regulations. At the same time, Ghana’s take of the revenue generated from mineral extraction is by many estimated to be far too low. It is feared that these problems will be passed on to the oil and gas sector.

Many of the problems in Ghana’s extractive sector can be ascribed to the difficulty of civil society and ordinary citizens to properly access information about activities, regulations and revenue flows within the sector. Without proper information, they struggle to hold policy makers, state institutions and companies accountable for their actions.

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