The Africa Social Entrepreneur Network (ASEN) is an Accra-based NGO set up by a group of young enterprising Ghanaians with an aim to mobilize unemployed youth in cooperation for self-employment.
Among its principal members are:
Musa Numoh, age 30 – Accra, Ghana.
Mutala Numoh, age 32 – Kade, Ghana.
Nana Yaw Appiah Kubi, age 30 – Akropong, Ghana.
Lang Tetteh Kodjo Ababio Nubuor, age 63 – Tema, Ghana (Advisory member)
We have a local government and development expert, a teacher, a farmer and social researcher among our members.
The founders of ASEN have been engaged in discussions about the harsh state of underdevelopment that has plagued their home country. In 2008, this group of young Africans decided to no longer lament their underdevelopment, but lead change.
Many of the most productive members of the young African population are either hopelessly trapped in the rural areas or are in a wild goose chase for non-existent greener pastures in the urban areas and sometimes even abroad. They leave behind arable lands that could feed them and their continent.
The founders decided to mobilize and settle these youth, engage them at various levels of the agricultural chain and unite them into a cooperative system. This effort will hopefully evolve into a continent-wide agro-industrial system of the new kind, one that is owned and controlled by the farmers collectively. We call this the ‘African Cooperating System’ (ACOS) project.
Many of the youth ASEN has engaged and hope to engage in the future have had little or no formal education. ASEN therefore also helps them acquire literacy skills and eventually lead them back, or usher them for the first time, into the formal education system.
It is hoped that this Project will provide the following socio-economic benefits to our African society:
- Immensely reduce and eventually eliminate youth unemployment and its concomitant socio-economic problems – crime, illegal migration, early marriage and teenage pregnancy, rural-urban migration and overcrowding of urban centres, etc.
- Cultivate agricultural and entrepreneurial skills in youth.
- Promote gender equality as a matter of principle.
- Provide modest but decent housing to rural people.
- Promote and practise environmental protection, as livelihood is tied to the physical environment through the building of permanent settlements.
- Promote literacy.
- Promote democracy in collective ownership and decision-making as a non-negotiable principle.
- Enhance food security to contribute to the fight against hunger and poverty.
ASEN is made up of young men and women who have experienced first-hand life in rural areas. They understand and see themselves as individual cells of the social organism. They appreciate that their own economic liberation is only sustainable when conceived and hatched in the context of social transformation through cooperation.
Thus far, through the ACOS Project ASEN has made modest but significant progress. We have successfully established a 12-acre mango plantation at Akorley in the Eastern Region of Ghana with a few people actively engaged in production and distribution on the farm for their livelihood.
ASEN intends to expand its activities across the continent. To this end, it is making efforts to avail itself with opportunities offered by traditional rulers to the youth to acquire more land for cultivation and animal husbandry.
Every single production unit that achieves self-sustainability after its initial capitalisation is deemed a case of success. ASEN is proud to announce, therefore, that its first project at Akorley is indeed a success story, as it has been funding itself for the last 7 years.
What will $5000.00 do?
With such a grant, ASEN and the ACOS Project intends to develop two new pieces of land at Odometa in the Eastern Region of Ghana for the cultivation of oil palm trees and animal husbandry. This entails the following:
(a) Land clearance and stumping
(b) Purchase of oil palm seedlings
(c) Drilling of boreholes for irrigation and animal rearing
(d) Accommodation for the farm workers and teachers involved in technical and technological research and guidance, as well as the advancement of literacy skills among the workers.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Musa Namoah (Accra, Ghana) – asenafrica2016[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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