The Swisshand programme in Ghana is currently concentrated in the region of Volta in the southeast of the 250’000 km wide country, as well as the northeastern regions. The beneficiaries often operate small businesses, such as the sale of food items and drinks, cooking shops, beer breweries, or the trading of second-hand shoes and clothing items. Due to the geographical division of the country into the coastal plain, the rain forest, and the savannah, are especially those residing in the north of Ghana reliant on the country’s agricultural economy. Around 40 percent of the population are active in farming, but are mostly reliant on subsistence farming, as 80 percent of the agricultural yields are produced by small farmers. Most of the agricultural produce is generated for their export to monocultures on plantations, whereby much of the rich and valuable soil is lost. As a result of this, Swisshand, together with cooperative efforts, tries to guide the subsistence farmers into identifying as market-oriented entrepreneurs. This will not only strengthen the individual families’ and the villages’ financial position, but also the entirety of the country’s economy, whereby the import of staple goods can be reduced.
In the southeast of the country, where the diocese Ho is located on an area of around 6’000 km , are three programmes currently active with the help of partner organisations, one of which is in Ho and two more are in Hohoe. The bishop, respectively the dioceses, make up the cooperative, while NGOs are present in the other two, where various Christian communities have come together for the collaborative improvement of living conditions. The programmes in Ho and Hohoe are especially concentrated on the promotion of small-scale entrepreneurial activities. The second programme in Hohoe is actively targeting the improvement of agricultural yields of rice, corn, and vegetables. With the help from state experts, small-scale farmers are educated on the improvement of soil treatment which, in combination with microcredits by Swisshand, allow the expansion of cultivation areas and the purchase of seeds and fertilisers.
Located in the north of Ghana are two further programmes: in the northern capital of Tamale, around 70’000 km large, and in Bolgatanga, the capital of the Upper East region bordering on Burkina Faso, around 9’000 km . Since many years present, these Swisshand programmes have built the foundation for the development of further programmes in these regions. Bongo and Zebilla were also able to benefit from the programmes in Bolgatanga, while projects are in the works in Damongo and Wa with the help of the programme in Tamale. In both regions, as well as in the region of Volta, are currently more programmes in their founding phases, whole in the south, the programmes in Keta Akatsi and in Twifu Praso have already begun.