International non-governmental organisations (INGOs) working in Ghana have strongly endorsed the newly established STAR Ghana Foundation in its quest to promote active citizenship.

Mohammed Nash, chairperson of the INGO Forum said the scope of collaboration between the Foundation and INGOs is huge, hence there must be continuous dialogue and consistent commitment to partnership.

“The Foundation can collaborate with INGOs to put issues on the global advocacy agenda and to do joint advocacy locally with government on state support to civil society,” he said.

He said this during the Foundation’s meeting with representatives from World Vision, WaterAid, Oxfam, Compassion International and many others to introduce them to its new vision. They also discussed how INGOs can further promote civil society work in Ghana.

During a session themed ‘The bridging role of the Foundation: sustainability and impact of the civil society sector in a beyond aid Ghana’, the INGOs said the potential to collaborate with the Foundation to achieve results has no limits.

The STAR Ghana Foundation will explore funding opportunities from Ghanaian philanthropy and the private sector to support the work of civil society organisations across the country and to aid development.

A section of the audience during the Q&A segment

Mr Nash explained that “Civil society organisations are facing crisis and INGOs are contracting, therefore, it is important for funds to be used well so funders continue putting money into CSO work.”

For her part, Adelaide Addo Fening, a representative from Ghana Oil and Gas for Inclusive Growth said, “Ghana beyond aid is an opportunity more than a threat.

“The opportunity is for those who are prepared to act together to catalyse collective action and local resources, hence the emergence of STAR Ghana Foundation is very timely.”

According to her, INGOs must see the Foundation as their preferred bid partner and think of ways to grow voluntary efforts and local fundraising from citizens in the various communities.

Amidu Ibrahim-Tanko, Programmes Director of STAR Ghana Foundation said: ‘CSOs must work together to reduce suspicion, build common ground and trust with government, be solution-oriented and be less adversarial.’

“The localisation of INGOs is fine, but we should not lose our connections to global advocacy work, make better use of local resources, and rethink our bureaucracies.”

STAR Ghana Foundation will apply all the best practices from previous programmes like RAVI, G-RAP, and STAR-Ghana phase 1 to achieve better and realistic results.