Australia assists 24 NGOs (Spread)

THE Australian High Commission has given financial assistance amounting to GH¢ 743,125 to 24 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the country to support their activities.
The grant, which forms part of Australia’s development grant for the 2009-2010 financial year, would go into areas of education, health, rural projects, solar energy, skills training, sanitation, provision of potable water, and refurbishment of school buildings.
Other areas where the grant is expected to be used are street lighting, assistance to women co-operative activities and human rights advocacy.
Some of the beneficiaries are Global Action for Women Empowerment, for its bakery project, the North Tongu District Assembly, for the supply of dual desks; the Kumasi Girls Senior High School, for the setting up of a computer laboratory, and the Women in Law and Development Africa (WiLDAF), which received 98,135 Australian dollars (approximately GH¢125,844) to assist women in the Ahanta West District in the Western Region to improve their knowledge of the laws and government organisations that assist them.
Presenting the cheques to the beneficiaries, the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr William Williams, said the grant was a reflection of “Australia’s commitment to broadening and deepening engagement with Africa across a full spectrum of issues, including enhanced trade and commercial investments, strengthened diplomatic links and increased development assistance”.
He said in that regard, the Australian government had increased its development assistance to Africa by more than 40 per cent.
The High Commissioner told the Daily Graphic that other areas of assistance which Australia would be extending to Ghana included technical support for the mining industry, capacity building for young Ghanaian graduates through an expanded scholarship programmes in the areas of agriculture, natural resource management, water and health, trade policy and economic governance.
Mr Williams expressed optimism that the successful completion of the projects would be of benefit to a number of communities throughout Ghana.
Ms Bernice Sam, National Programme Co-ordinator of WiLDAF, told the Daily Graphic that the aid would facilitate its advocacy work in the Ahanta West District and ultimately empower the beneficiaries of the training programme to know and defend their rights when the need arose, adding that “many of the participants in training programmes have been elected into district assemblies”.

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