Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Very Long Engagement...The Proposal

With only a week and half of time remaining here in the TradeAID office for the current team, some people may be wondering what we have achieved and why has this proposal been taking up all our time and effort? Well to answer the first of these questions I shall run you through our seventy five page fundraising proposal in brief. And this is just one of the documents that we have produced.

The fundraising proposal has identified nine activities which should work to greatly increase the income of those working within the craft sector of Bolgatanga. These nine activities have been grouped together into three main objectives: training, increasing market access and providing financial and material support to the craft workers.

Training for the craft workers explores a wide range of actions that can help them improve their products and their businesses. One of these opportunities is to improve the quality of leather that is currently used here in Bolga. If the quality is improved, the final products could be sold for a greater profit and hopefully could be  exported. The training objective also examines the possibility for diversifying the products that are currently produced here in the Upper East so that there is a greater chance the goods can break into the international market. This would also enable producers to offer something different to their competitors elsewhere in Ghana. The final aspect of training is to improve computer literacy, allowing craft workers to access the innumerable prospects offered by the web.

The second objective examines how best to increase not only domestic market access but international market access too. From the research provided by the two previous International Service groups, it became apparent that there were three areas holding back market access. The first was the supply chain. In order to reduce the cost of transport for TradeAID and its producers, it is suggested that a heavy goods vehicle be purchased. In the long term, this will reduce the cost of transport and provide an income for TradeAID which would help support its other projects. The second area is the lack of suitable spaces for goods to be produced and material to be stored. In order to address this it is recommended that craft centres be built. These would allow the craft workers a sheltered area to work throughout the year. We have also suggested that representatives of TradeAID go to an international trade fair to increase the international presence of TradeAID and also to learn how to hold their own craft fair in Bolgatanga in order to establish a regional centre of crafts in the Upper East of Ghana.

The third and final objective looks to address two issues. Firstly, the day to day lack of cash flow amongst the craft workers. This would be looked at through a small-scale group and individual saving scheme which TradeAID already runs successful with basket weaving and farming groups, and which would now be promoted with the other craft groups. The second part aims to improve the health and safety of the basket weavers by providing personal protective equipment for use during the dyeing process.

By answering the first question I think I have also answered the second. This has been a wide ranging project that has examined every issue covered in depth. It has been challenging at times but also interesting and we are all working hard to get the work done before our final deadline next week on Wednesday.

Now it's just up to the next team to try and come up with the monies to finance all this!

By Dan

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