The Australian High Commission in Accra on Thursday hosted representatives from NGOs and government agencies from across its nine countries of accreditation, to celebrate the contribution Australian-funded programmes have made to communities across the region.
The reception and photo exhibition showcased the benefits to local communities resulting from partnerships between Australia and organisations in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
These partnerships have been funded through the Direct Aid Programme small grants fund, the Australia Awards scholarship programme and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund.
Speaking on the theme: “Celebrating Stronger Communities,” newly arrived Australian High Commissioner to Ghana Mr Andrew Barnes encouraged attendees to celebrate “how our partnerships with non-government organisations and universities support stronger communities” across the region.
“We are thrilled that this year, the Australian High Commission in Ghana provided more funding through our Direct Aid Programme than ever before,” Mr Barnes added.
He took the opportunity to formally announce that in 2015-16, the Commission has awarded a total of A$ 820,000 (equivalent to around GHS 2.3 million) to 22 NGOs in eight West African countries under the Direct Aid Programme.
Mr Barnes also presented cheques for A$ 20,000 to Ghana Institute of Democratic Governance and A$ 41,550 to the Centre Italien d’aide a’l’enfance of Burkina Faso.
Mr Ewald Garr, the Research and Programmes Manager, IDEG expressed gratitude to the Australian Government for the funding support.
He said the fund would enable the Institute prosecute its agenda towards the 2016 general election.
The event also celebrated the Australia Awards scholarship programme, under which almost 600 individuals across the Australian High Commission’s nine countries of accreditation have received a Masters’ degree or participated in a short course.
Further, a number of Ghanaian NGOs are to receive funding under the Australian-funded Disability Rights Advocacy Fund.