Thursday, October 11, 2012

UNDP builds blacksmiths cooperatives in Ghana

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Artisans Organised Into Co-Operatives PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 10:02  
Artisans in the three northern regions are being organised into co-operatives as part of efforts to curb the proliferation of small arms.

Their operations, as individuals, made regulation and monitoring difficult. Under the initiative dubbed: “the United Nations Human Security Programme” (UN-HSP), 250 blacksmiths in Yendi and Tamale in the Northern Region, Bawku in the Upper East, and Wa, the Upper West Regional capital, have joined associations since 2009 as part of efforts to consolidate peace.

According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN body behind the initiative, the project sought to “expand their networks to reach out toother blacksmiths elsewhere within the country to learn best practices and be ready to contribute to the development agenda of the area.

When the Daily Graphic visited the Boriguyili blacksmiths association site in Yendi, the over 60 blacksmiths who make up the association had gathered for one of their monthly meetings.

The Secretary of the group, Mr. Bawah Basheiru, said they were now committed to ensuring that none of its members in the area produced arms.

He said the job was a family heritage bequeathed to them by their fathers and so they were protecting it.

He said members of the group had vowed to hand over to the police any member found to be engaging in the production of weapons.

He said their vision was to operate with modern technology that would make their products more competitive on the market and called for support from the government and other donor agencies.
The blacksmiths are largely engaged in the manufacture of farm tools like hoes, machetes, pickaxes etc, but when the main farming season, which spans three months, is over, their jobs take a nosedive.
The blacksmiths in Tamale and Yendi have successfully collaborated to adopt one name and one constitution and registered with the Registrar General’s Department under the Company’s Act 179 as the Northern Region Association of Blacksmiths.

New businesses are springing up in the area and economic activity is on the rise.
The Deputy Secretary to the group, Mr. Abukar Abdulai, said two new private senior high schools had been put up in the area to support quality education.

The programme is currently in discussions with some of the micro finance institutions in three regions of the north to link them up for micro finance support.

Source: Daily Graphic
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