ISAAC W. DADZIE: CADRE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
In line with the aspirations of the Centre for Consciencist Studies and Analyses (CENCSA), we publish Isaac W. Dadzie’s research paper suggesting a programme for a revolutionary cadre formation. Dadzie suggests here how economic opportunities generated within the existing neo-colonial system should be exploited by revolutionary cadre involved in economic production to create cooperatives based on the collectivist principle of socialist reconstruction.
This humble presentation by this young African is a practical illustration of the validity of Marxist-Nkrumaist principles for the development of African society. It is gratifying to observe that there is emerging in Africa a new generation of socialist revolutionaries who are ready to consciously build the economic base of Africa’s society through the identification and exploitation of concrete opportunities within the womb of the existing neo-colonial rot while engaged in political studies and activities.
We invite contributions to this significant effort with fundamental implications for the evolution of a socialist mode of production that is bound to revolutionize African society to free its development from the constricting arms of imperialist, neo-colonialist and capitalist exploitation and oppression. Read on:
CADRE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
A Means to Confronting Youth, Job and Structural Change Problems in Ghana
Isaac W. Dadzie
In 2009 youth unemployment in Africa stood at 15 million people. Youth unemployment rate in sub-Saharan Africa stood at 15.11%. Employment to population ratio is low which means that a large chunk of the youth is not involved in market-related activities because they are either unemployed or outside the labour forces (ASYB, 2013). Ghana has experienced different paradigms of economic changes since its independence in 1957. The economy, after 1966, has experienced enormous challenges which mainly take roots from the unresolved question of national ownership and control of the larger productive systems and the lack of effective political direction of ensuring equity in wealth distribution for national growth and prosperity. This has inevitably affected majority of the poor population. However, considering the fact that the youth size of the population remains very high, young people have fallen victim to these economic policy challenges. The share of youth size (60%) of the total national population (25 million) in the year 2011, demographically, stands as a potential for economic growth. Certainly, the issue of class cleavage in respect of right to access to land, water, food, education and working capital for a sustainable livelihood has occupied a dominant face of the majority of young people in Ghana, such that the vast majority of young people is likely to constitute the vast majority of the oppressed population.
Low unemployment rates are symptoms of the structural crises of the Ghanaian economy since 1966. It is established that since 1990 structural challenges of the economy have moved in the wrong direction in Africa; there is a case of labour productivity dropping sharply from a higher level to a lower level of productive employment (Macmillan and Rodrick, 2011).This paper argues that on the basis of the economic growth challenges of Ghana, as a matter of aggressive disparity in class ownership and control of national resources which has developed its traits among the largest cohort of the country’s productive age group (16years to 35 years) who are considered as the youth, practical efforts are required to promote cooperatives on the lines of revolutionary and cooperative principles; one way of stimulating the gradual growth of collective control of resources. The need for establishing and promoting cooperatives in ideological cadre development is therefore a crucial nexus to help cushion the economic constraints of individuals and collectives whiles at the time ensuring the promotion of productive forces driven by conscious oppressed working people or cooperatives in the economy.
This paper is presented according to sections. The next section, section two (2), deals with the nature of unemployment in Ghana and its associated characteristics. Access to job in Ghana is centered on the ‘who you know syndrome’; and the lack of creative and productive skills among many of the unemployed has brought crisis in employment and income generation. Section three (3) tackles some selected programmes and initiatives for young people by the Government of Ghana in partnership with the private sector to resolve the employment problem over the last decade. It aptly highlights the ongoing National Youth and Employment Programme (NYEP) and the Ghana Rural Enterprise Project. Section four (4) discusses the core of the paper – establishing an employment generation system for revolutionary cadres in the nature of cooperatives within the context of promoting the development of socialism and overcoming the neo-liberal challenge including a critical attention on methods of finance. In the case of finance, Skills Development Fund would be the focus in section five (5), since the issue of access to finance for small and medium scale productive groups has been a problem for job creation. This section would therefore present the nature and opportunities of Skills Development Fund and mention some of the beneficiaries of the fund serving as an inspiration but with the overall aim of helping to guide the aspect of meeting some of the financial challenges associated with the training component in cadre cooperatives. Section six (6) brings a conclusion to the paper.
2. THE NATURE OF THE PROBLEM OF UNEMPLOYMENT
Data of youth unemployment in sub-Sahara Africa have been contended and have left a vacuum of controversy. In 2009 the overall unemployment rate in sub-Saharan Africa was 6.4 percent compared with a global average of 4.7 percent. It is argued that unemployment rates in Africa are likely to be underestimated because the International Labour Organisation (ILO) excludes people who were not working, were not actively looking for work, but say they would take a job if one were offered. Comparative study of youth unemployment and adult unemployment is also worthy of note. The ratio of youth to adult unemployment rates in sub-Saharan Africa is 1.9 compared to 2.7 globally (Page, 2012).
However, the statistical rate of Ghana’s youth unemployment has not been certain. According to the Ghana Statistical Service, the age group between 15-64 years of the country’s population constitutes about 14, 040,893 persons (57%). This is the economic active age group of the country (Census, 2010).
Additionally, the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group in 2012 reported that Ghana, among some other African countries, has a relatively low unemployment rate falling in the range of 1% to 5%. These statistical indicators, just like statistical controversy of Africa’s middle class definition of those category of population whose basic daily consumption ranges from US$2 to US$20 (AfDB, 2011), do not reflect actual reality of people’s struggle to overcome their food, housing, health, educational and in this particular case employment problems within the context of the influence of class ownership and control of national resources. Indeed, such statistical averages have led to lofty and sloppy attitudes of institutions and public officers toward genuine concern for unemployment and other labour issues.
The ‘who you know’ syndrome has become a major phenomenon in getting access to jobs in Ghana. For many young people, they would have to know and rely on a close family relation, a friend, church member or a colleague in the same association to facilitate their job application for shortlist in an interview or aptitude test. Others would also have to register with a recruitment firm and usually wait for a long time to get a response for an opportunity of getting a job. These social processes, especially the former, come with frustrations whiles the latter comes with a cost. In most cases, young people are also overburdened with follow ups and pressures for sexual favours from employers. Females suffer most in sexual exploitation when trying to get jobs. These challenges have given undue privileges to some employers over candidates seeking for jobs. The social effects of unemployment among the youth run in preponderance; ranging from increase in high crimes such as armed robbery, internet fraud and “drug pushing” to increased rates of prostitution and proliferation of brothels, rural-urban migration and general lawlessness especially during periods of election and national festivities. Economically, it has caused persistent levels of low productivity and cheap labour in the job market.
The magnitude of unemployment in the country has also given rise to the formation of organizations which seek to identify and bring together unemployed graduates on a single platform to express the concerns of young people. Others have argued that its intension is to help complement works in getting the total size of youth unemployment. An example is the Unemployed Graduate Association of Ghana. Some of these organizations have been accused of representing partisan political motif to purposely bring political pressures on the Government to respond critically to the situation of unemployment.
3. SELECTED CASES OF YOUTH PROGRAMMES AND INITIATIVES WITH THEIR ASSOCIATED RESULTS
One critical factor in making a transition to adulthood is acquisition of the right skills and opportunities to access decent work. In achieving this clear objective many efforts have been made by successive Governments after 1966 to address this critical factor. However, it is either that some of these efforts have suffered from a lack of effective management or have suffered from inappropriate central government direction which therefore has made them not to be sustainable and effective in transforming the economy. During the 1980s, when Ghana took a keen interest in and adopted structural adjustment policies (SAPs), there have been various employment programmes embedded in central Government policies aimed at creating jobs, reducing poverty and closing the inequality gap but eventually end up not being able to meet the general economic objectives. Part of the central government economic framework of policies has included the Economic Review Programme, Programme of Action to Mitigate the Social Costs of Adjustment (PAMSCAD), Ghana Vision 2020 and the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy I and II. However, these Structural Adjustment policies have been identified as a major cause of poverty for countries who adopt them. They have led to the collapse of many state enterprises and do not provide the remedy aimed at revamping these defunct state enterprises. In fact, their imposition have required that the country reduce spending on social needs like health, education and public sector employment, while debt repayment and other economic policies have been made the priority, thereby maintaining dependency and poverty. Ghana’s economic arrangement fits into the argument where developed countries, for instance, grow rich by selling capital-intensive (thus cheap) products for a high price whiles buying labor-intensive (thus expensive) products at a low price. This imbalance of trade expanded the gap between the rich and poor countries. The wealthy sell products to be consumed, not tools to produce. This maintains the monopolization of the tools of production, and guarantees a continued market for the product (Smith, 2004).
Today, Ghana’s economic policy framework, popularly known as Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (2010-2013), maps up some strategies on the lines of neo-liberal economics in creating jobs in both the formal and informal sectors including the support to selected industrial products to be produced domestically. So far, some of its strategies have included the expansion of technical and vocational education and training systems such as the Community Centres for Employable Skills (ICCES), Rural Enterprise Project and have incorporated new or additional models into the existing National Youth and Employment Programme, such as the Youth in Agriculture Programme and Youth in Road Maintenance (NDPC, 2010).
Even though some degree of success has been chalked in this endeavour, it must be mentioned that most young people have tapped into them as a temporary opportunity and some of the programmes in themselves have been run down in mismanagement, embezzlements and irregular administrative challenges. These have included long delays in the payment of wages, payments below the minimum wage, inappropriate overhead expenditure and political partisan manipulation. They have therefore not been able to generate the expected effect of transforming the pressures in the labour market.
The National Youth and Employment Programme seeks to explore, recommend and provide additional employment opportunities for the youth in the various districts throughout the country and thereby create conditions that will facilitate their economic empowerment. The programme includes a combination of self-employment opportunities, wage earning jobs and voluntary service activities. Ten modules are being used for the implementation process. These are:
Module 1 – Agriculture-Business, Module 2 – Trades & Vocation, Module 3 – Information and Communication Technology, Module 4 – Community Protection System, Module 5 – Waste and sanitation Management Corps, Module 6 – Rural Education, Module 7 – Auxiliary Nursing, Module 8 – Internships and Industrial Attachments, Module 9 – Vacation jobs and Module 10 – Volunteer Services.
It is significant that the NYEP is being implemented in all metropolitan, municipal, sub-metros and districts in the country. They are implementing some of the modules based on their local comparative advantage. There is an employment task force set up at national, regional and district-levels implementing the NYEP. The district employment task forces are charged with identifying potential employment promotion areas and then implementing one or more of the NYEP modules. The beneficiaries of the programme are paid a weekly stipend. Those engaging in self-employment activities are given assistance to purchase inputs. It is important to state that the NYEP is weak in terms of ensuring national patriotism. It suffers a lot of financial irregularities as previously stated and does not seek to promote a collective ownership and control of national resources even though its importance is to relatively arrest unemployment in Ghana.
Ghana Rural Enterprises is also an interesting scheme. It is being carried in phases and currently approval has been given for phase three (III). This largely seeks to create employment in agro-business and other small scale enterprises concentrated in the rural areas. Funds for this project are obtained from the African Development Bank with Government of Ghana approval. It is a project not as large as NYEP and therefore less attention and less information have been provided about its implementation.
That, notwithstanding, the need for an alternate form of employment programme embedded in the objective of competing with the existing economic arrangement is very much significant. What about cooperatives and their relations to the political and social arrangement of the current class nature of society? What kind of political or ideological direction can be given to cooperatives to stimulate a concrete social change for the betterment of the vast majority of the population? Is cooperative an ideal type of business for young ideological cadres? This would be the focus in the following section.
4. CADRE EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMME AND FINANCING
Unemployment and working people’s poverty have generally been identified as one of the major obstacles in Ghana’s economic and social development. There is also a consensus amongst Revolutionaries and Nkrumaists that unemployment can be a potential cause of any political upheaval or mass action in the country. There is, therefore, a certain level of consideration of promoting cooperatives or collective systems of ownership and management of economic activity in order to sustain a growth of a revolutionary element within an evolving society of today which has a dominant private-sector-led development.
Taking also into consideration the untapped potential of young ideological cadres in their bid to survive, generate income and provide support to other dependents whiles at the same time serve as social agents in fighting the dominant exploitative system in the country, there is a need for an employment programme which is owned and managed by the collective cadre to enable them achieve and develop this objective. Such employment programme would be timely at this moment of the country’s development when the size of the economic active group of the population presents an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate economic growth. The programme will help create employment and promote social cohesion amongst the cadre, most particularly the youth, and make their political actions less dependent on the existing social and economic arrangement of the country but rather dictated by the collective economic programme. The economic programme would also help to alleviate poverty and increase economic growth within the business location.
The output of Technical, Vocational Education and Training in Ghana, like many African countries, has become a mismatch to the neo-liberal labour market requirements and the rapid technological revolution. This longstanding mismatch has created an education gap in relation to relevant working skills to help address the current needs of the majority of the population. Therefore, recruitment and training into the cadre employment programme would be more responsive to the demands of the people and to the ideological agenda of the collective.
According to the African Statistical Year book (2013), “the female employment ratio in 2011 for Sub-Saharan Africa is estimated at about 39 percent, compared to 69 percent for men (1.8 times higher than for women). Moreover, women are estimated to constitute the majority (60 percent) of the working poor.” In Ghana, population census indicates 51 percent as females (Census, 2010). It is significant to echo gender mainstreaming as a crucial consideration in the implementation of any cadre cooperative employment programme. This factor is guided by the fact that women play a significant role towards social change and therefore their needed role should be squarely situated within the context of the effort of creating employment, building social cohesion and helping alleviate poverty for revolutionary cadre development.
4.2 Cooperatives in Ideological Cadre Development
According to the Cooperative Development Institute, a cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned democratically controlled enterprise.
The vision for establishing cooperatives for the ideological cadre is to build a cooperative economy through the creation and development of cooperative enterprises and networks firmly rooted in practical scientific-socialist objectives in diverse communities in Ghana. The cooperative economy must be of an inter-dependent dense network of enterprises and institutions that allow cadres to meet their collective needs through principled democratic ownership, social justice and the promotion of conscious self-governance. Thus the cooperatives would be embedded in the spirit of the development of a revolutionary state and therefore would not only meet its common economic and social needs but also political transformation of the existing neo-colonial arrangement in Ghana.
The cooperative cadre programme will be upheld on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equity, equality and solidarity. Ethical values are also crucial. This includes openness, honesty, transparency and caring for others.
Its principles will involve voluntary and open membership, where it is open to all persons able to use their services most effectively and will be glad to accept the responsibilities of membership without gender, social and religious discrimination; democratic member control, where men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member one vote) and cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner; autonomy and independence, where cooperatives are self-reliant organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations such as governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by the members and maintain cooperative autonomy; education and training serve as another principle which ensures continuity and growth. Cooperatives inform the general public and participate in the political process. Member economic participation ensures equitable contribution and democratic control of capital where part of it is usually the common property of the cooperative. There is allocation of surplus for purposes of developing the cooperative, possibly by establishing reserves which would be partly indivisible, and benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperatives as well as supporting other activities approved by the collectives. There are two other additional principles of cooperatives which involve cooperation amongst cooperatives at all levels like district, regional and national; and the principle of stronger community relations for sustainable development of their communities through political decisions accepted by the collective.
In starting a cooperative for cadres within the context of the above mentioned vision and guided principles the following provides a guide:
1. Stage One – Exploring the business area
The formation of an organizing or steering committee, from within the membership of the ideological cadre development programme, is paramount in order to maintain the nexus of the cooperative enterprise and the ideological or political direction. The committee would identify the mission and core values of the cooperatives; appoint an effective facilitator (not chairperson to avoid early signs of conflict of power) who would facilitate some periodic meetings towards achieving a committed and effective committee. The committee must create a key business development plan and budget, source of funding, research and subsequently report, advice or share information with the larger cadre group.
2. Stage Two – Business Planning
The collective ideological cadre would at this stage incorporate the cooperative and adopt its set of rules or by-laws that describes how they will work together. A facilitator of the meetings at this stage will be necessary and must be an adult experienced cadre with relevant background to help create the legal documents such as articles of incorporation, by-laws, membership registration and agreement form(s) and would facilitate a review of business development plan. Recruitment of members, at this stage, for the cooperative will be relevant to raise money and increase membership to launch the cooperative. It is also at this stage that the collective must secure funding for the cooperative.
3. Stage Three – Launching of cooperative
The launching will involve setting up an office and hiring staff. An experienced cadre or progressive organisation (local or International) with relevant background can provide start-up accounting, communications and support staffing. The facilitator can also provide sample job descriptions and personnel handbooks, training for management, staff, members and board. At the end of this stage there would be an office set up and staff. This stage’s business development will involve contracting for raw materials, production and marketing of products. Orientation of new members on their role and responsibilities must be carried out and sample member orientation materials should also be provided. At the end of this stage members should be educated about their rights and responsibilities as cooperative members.
4. Stage Four – In Business
The cooperative will at this stage be in full business. In terms of organizational development, staff and management education and strategic planning should be provided. The facilitator must facilitate in communication support and financial systems support, provide training for management in conflict management and also provide networks to other cooperatives. There should be an ongoing provision of goods and services and the cooperative should be seen at this stage as viable, up and running – bringing economic benefits to members and community; as well as being democratic in its decisions.
It is important to stress that for cooperative to succeed within the context of the vision and revolutionary principles, members must be effective in leadership with qualities to drive progress and functioning committees must be lasting and effective. For this reason, organizational development of cooperatives of cadre will require periodic training and education to meet the unexpected challenges.
4.3 Criteria for the cooperatives and possible environmental challenges.
Some of the criteria for the setting up the cooperative should be as follows:
1. Should help address the problem of urban migration. Therefore critical consideration should be made on the business location.
2. Should reflect the true character of collective ownership involving all human elements of the business location. It should also prohibit discrimination on the bases of nationality, sex, religion, ethnicity or disability.
3. Should be able to identify and create the kind of requisite skills for the work that would address the needs of the majority of people.
4. Should be able to generate source(s) of funding with less restrictive terms and conditions in order that the collective would not be tied to a long term dependent relationship with source(s) of finance.
4.4 Possible challenges
Labour market governance is crucial to strengthening the economic programme. However, the likelihood of possible conflict from the effect of the current labour regulatory frameworks on the cadre economic programme should be expected in the process. This is because due to the rigidities and demands of workers within the current legal and institutional arrangements of the Labour market institutions, any collectivist system would be compelled or subject to the neo-liberal pressures. To that extent clear-cut political struggles would be necessary to make it convenient for the collectivist system to survive and over-ride these neo-liberal regulatory pressure
The availability of adequate funds for effective job creation through credit support to young people in start-ups, small scale and medium scale enterprises has been a serious challenge in the effort to ensure growth of the Ghanaian economy. Over reliance on private financial institutions with high interest rates and tight terms and conditions has driven most potential productive businesses of young people away and has destroyed their dreams in this neo-colonial capitalist society.
Demand pressures on Government to lead in capital accumulation and investment into strategic areas of national interest such as education and health have not yielded expected outcomes. This is as a result of the economic development framework of the Government – private sector-led growth within the context of the operative dominant neo-colonial capitalist ideology. Governments receive over 40% of funding from outside – through foreign private and bilateral arrangements, and consequently affect their policy choices and expected outcomes. In the next following pages, the paper will discuss the Skills Development Fund sourced from the external private-capital but which could serve the interest of cooperatives even within the context of achieving the ideological objective of cadres.
5.1 Financing the Training and Development of Skills – Skills Development Fund
There is an opportunity to acquire funds for training in the formal, informal, training innovation and technological partnerships and centres. Skills Development Funds (SDF) is a foreign private-led funding from two (2) main different sources. It comes with less restrictions and terms to the beneficiary small-scale or medium-size business, cooperative or institution.
The Government of Ghana and its Development partners; the World Bank, Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) are the main source of funding for the setting up and implementation of the Skills Development Fund (SDF). The African Development Bank is as well involved. This fund, when accessed, is believed to power knowledge, skills and innovation as a way of resolving the crisis amongst the unemployed young people and small scale businesses. The SDF also caters to the skills needs of the formal and informal sectors of the economy; it is available for pre-employment initiatives and addresses the needs of continuous skills upgrading.
The fund is managed by the Project Support Unit (PSU) of the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET). COTVET recognizes the fact that young people make sound career decisions based on relevant and current information.
The aim of the Fund is to provide a demand-driven response to the following challenges faced by the productive sectors of Ghana. These challenges include:
- Inadequate qualified labour force,
- The urgency of providing new entrants to the labour market with gainful, employable skills
- Inadequate access to new technologies and innovations.
There are four windows of opportunities open to targeted groups and each has its ceiling and requirements. (See below Table 1)
|WINDOWS||UPPER CEILING FOR EACH GRANT||MAXIMUM GRANT ELEMENT||MATCHING CONTRIBUTION|
|Window 1: Formal Sector Enterprises||*GHC 665,000**||80%||20% (In-cash)|
|Window 2:Informal Sector/MSEs||GHC 114,000**||90%||10% (In-cash or in-kind)|
|Window 3:Training Innovation||GHC 950,000**||75%||25% (In-cash for private, in-kind for public sector applicants)|
|a. Technology Partnerships||GHC 380,000**||50%||50% (In-cash)|
|b. Technology Centres||GHC 1,900,000||50%-75%||50%-25% (In-cash or in-kind)|
Table 1 Exchange rate at GHC1.9 to $1 **Minimum grant amount of $2,000 Source: www.sdf.com
Some of the formal cooperatives that have benefited from the fund include
- Kwabre Pig Farmers Association (GHC 68,150.00). The funding was meant to train 30 members on the preparation of cheap feed package/diet using locally available agro industrial by-product to increase the yield of pigs.
- Apam Canoe Cooperative Fishermen Society (GHC 112,329.00). The objective was to fund the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills training for 210 members.
- Cotton Farmers Division (CFD) of GAWU of Ghana TUC (GHC 51,030.00). To train 40 members in efficient agronomic practices, including proper fertilizer application and post-harvest handling of cotton.
- Ghana National Association of Garages – Nkoranza (GHC 30,816.00). To train 50 master technicians in automobile engine and electrical servicing, electronic computer system and customer care.
- Ghana National Association of Garages – Weija, Accra (GHC 90,653.85). To train 150 members in Automobile Engine and Electrical Servicing, Electronic Computer System and Auto Diagnostics
- Afigya Kwabere Pig Farmers Association – (GHC 46,060.20). To train 42 members in improved swine management practices and disease prevention and control.
- Mushroom Growers and Exporters Association of Ghana – (GHC96,862.50). To upgrade the skills of 40 members in mushroom spawn production and cultivation, post-harvest handling, packaging and marketing.
- Ejisu Juaben Poultry Farmers Association – GHC 47, 185.20. To train 40 members on how to apply RE3-DFM technology in poultry production to enhance their productivity by improving growth rate and efficiency of egg production and feed utilisation.
- National Association of Beauticians and Hairdressers, Dormaa Ahenkro – (GHC66, 894.00). To train 50 members in the use of hot curler, micro hair strands extension techniques, hair fusion, facial treatment, entrepreneurship and customer care.
- Progressive Electronic Technicians Association – (GHC 90,000.00). To build the capacity and upgrade the skills of 60 master electronic technicians in computer hardware, software, networking and related skills.
- Cluster of Cape Coast Soap Makers Association – (GHC 42,351.00). To train 25 members in soap making, fragrance application techniques, entrepreneurship and small business management.
- Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Centre, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GHC 311, 107.41). To set up a technology centre to transfer protein hydroxylates bait, a technology used in controlling fruit fly menace on farms, for use by mango farmers and other fruit/vegetable farmers in reducing fly insect invasion.
- Brong Ahafo Moringa Farmers Association (GHC 90,801). To train 429 members in processing Moringa leaves and seeds into soap, powder, body lotion making and oil extraction), Start-Up Business workshops
- Osudoku Agricultural Cooperative Society (GHC 57,600.00). To train 250 members on improved agronomic practices, safe use of agrochemicals, efficient post harvest management technology, appropriate ways of selecting mills and product packaging
The second batch of beneficiaries has included organizations such as the Association of Road Contractors Ghana, Christian Mothers Association of Ghana, Eastern Regional Grasscutter Farmers Association, Volta Regional Poultry Farmers Association and many others
Any applicant qualified for the grand must go through the following process:
Step 1: Applicant visits SDF website for application information
Step 2: Applicant contacts an intermediary to support in proposal development (optional)
Step 3: Applicant submits an on-line application to SDF
Step 4: SDF evaluates proposal using external consultants
Step 5: SDF visits applicant to conduct due diligence on applicant (only applicants passing evaluation)
Step 6: Proposals that pass evaluation and due diligence are recommended to SDF Committee
Step 7: SDF Committee finally approves or rejects proposal (with reasons)
Step 8: Grant contract signed with successful applicants and disbursement made
Step 9: COTVET-PSU provide Monitoring, Procurement and Financial Management support to grantee in implementing their projects.
Step 10: Grantees submit periodic reports (narrative & financial) to COTVET-Project Support Unit
To pursue a path of sustaining ideological cadre development there is the need to make the cadre development break gradually from neo-colonial structures and tendencies. One way of doing this is to promote cooperatives by the people but with the intention of benefitting young cadres involved in cadre development, the communities where business would be situated and for financing political struggles. The nature of cooperatives is the closest type of business which reflects a democratic – collectively and equally owned and controlled, transparent and participatory – enterprise to shape political choices and actions.
Since the challenge of mass unemployment in Ghana also affects the commitment of young cadres in early forms of rudimentary and revolutionary struggles, adequate steps should be carried in the context of building cooperatives with values and principles firmly rooted in scientific-socialism.
However, the conditions of the neo-colonial financial capital provide certain window of opportunities for ideological cadre programmes to exploit and utilize at a less risk and as they (the programmes) are likely to be less dependent on and more independent of the neo-colonial financial structure of the Ghanaian society in the course of time. This interconnection of such a window of opportunities and the potential of cadre development must be seized with alacrity in order to promote the evolution of the revolutionary element in the Ghanaian society.
To this extent, the Skills Development Fund would serve as an opportunity for an ideological cadre programme to enable them set-up and implement a collective productive system not only to the benefit of the collective but also to the benefit of the communities within which the business would be located. The distinction between such forms of cooperative from other cooperatives would be the content of training and education borne from the iron of ideological consciousness.
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Acknowledgement of editing by Lang T.K.A Nubuor, Director of the Centre for Consciencist Studies and Analyses (CENCSA).
No.5 Soula Loop