Working_in_Ghana_with_ MOFA

Thursday, June 29, 2006


For those of you just tuning in to my visually un-stimulating blog cite (sorry for the lack of pictures, they take such a long time to download and send via internet), DFSN stands for District Food Security Network. And if you really haven’t been reading my blog…MoFA stands for Ministry of Food and Agriculture…

The DFSN is a holistic alliance of stakeholders (Government Organizations (GO’s), Non-Government Organizations (NGO’s), Community Based organizations (CBO’s) and the Private Sector) working within the Bole district. EWB (with the funding from a Manitoban Organization) has funding for the first four meetings, two of which I will be attending. My role was to organize the first meeting, with the help of the Director of MoFA: interviewing all the stakeholders, creating a profile and summary of the organizations, creating a letter of invitation and basically prepare all logistics for the meeting.

The DFSN is aimed at creating a platform where organizations from different sectors/or same sectors, can come together on a regular basis to help attain Food Security in the District (“Good quality nutritious food, hygienically packaged and attractively presented, available in sufficient quantities all year round and located at the appropriate places at affordable prices”). So we had members from the District assembly including Environmental Representative, Engineer (Infrastructure), MoFA reps, HIV/AIDS awareness rep, Women’s group Rep, Female Trader (Bole Market), a Farmer Coop representative, a health nurse…invited to attend the meeting. The idea is to have groups collaborate to share information and resources in order to be more efficient at achieving food security within the Bole district.

The first meeting was last Thursday, June 22nd. The meeting was to start at 9am…come 9am there were only 4/21 people present. I was getting nervous as 9:30 rolled around and only around 3 new people had shown up. Peace Corps volunteer, and good pal, assured me that she was early, and to rest assured that there is nothing I can do: it is normal for Ghanaians to show up to meetings an hour or two late, or what others would like to call “Ghanaian Time”. Around 10am the meeting started, although members slowly dripped in to the meeting without any worries. Now that the meeting was one hour late we were to speed up the pace a bit, not to mention close early because Ghana “Black Stars” were playing against USA in the World Cup at 2pm.
Although both of these constraints were beyond my control, I will be aware of some of these inhibitions for my workshops for next week.
Regardless, the first meeting turned out to be successful, in my view. The next meeting is planned for August 9th, which will creep up quickly. I will have to plan the meeting with the DFSN exec team in order to ensure proper information transfer and consultation of meeting logistics. I will have to allot more time for preparing, seeing as though it will not just be me, in the office, working at my own “Canadian” work pace.

Next week I will be facilitating 2 workshops back to back, directed at adult education, learning styles, action plans, results based management, field book records and feedback cycles for the Agriculture Extension Agents (AEAs). The AEAs are at the forefront of farmer education. Some AEAs are established in remote villages, focused on educating the farmers in their operational areas. My workshops are aimed at building the capacity of the AEAs to better their skills when delivering information and new technologies to the farmers. Also, I will hope to improve their understanding of recording observations on the farmers fields in order to have documented information for establishing results of their extension work. With all this being said, if they can see results in their work, then they are doing well, otherwise, they should look at their results as a feedback system: no results then you must change your approach.

The workshops, being two days in a row, will take a lot of energy from me! I am ready to tackle them with full strength, but also must accept that I will have to be flexible and accommodating to the staffs needs.

Well, that is all for now on my development with MoFA Bole District. Stay tuned for another fun filled exciting article describing my progress here in Ghana.


At 7:35 PM, Blogger Andy Johnson said...

Hi Ghislaine
I’ve been reading your day to day activities, sounds like your really getting things done. Your doing a Super job.

Keep up the good work

Our prayers are with you,

God Bless

Lots of Love

Uncle Andy & Huguette


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