The Journey to Africa's 2nd Fair Trade Town
On course to become just the second Fair Trade town in Africa (with the first, New Koforidua, surprisingly also in Ghana) Bolgatanga, Northern Ghana, is within touching distance of gaining the coveted Fair Trade status. The journey to success requires 5 goals to be achieved. These are the goals that were agreed on by the community (based on the set goals by New Koforidua, Ghana - the First Fair Trade Town in Africa) to attain Fair Trade Town status:
- Establish a partnership agreement with a UK Fair Trade town
- A resident cooperative exists that sells into the Fair Trade market
- Fair Trade is promoted throughout community e.g. schools
- An annual event is held to promote local business and Fair Trade both locally, regionally and nationally
- A steering committee is set up to coordinate the Fair Trade status and promote future events.
All the goals have actually been achieved, with the community only needing to host an event to self-declare as a Fair Trade Town before becoming 'official'.
International Service’s ICS project with TradeAID Integrated has been critical to the success of Bolgatanga (nearly) achieving Fair Trade status. Our work in Ghana has enabled the communities of Bolgatanga to promote their wares on an international stage, empowering local producers and artisans through fair pricing, working conditions and exposure which will result in Bolgatanga becoming a wealthier and fairer town.
A huge success of this journey to Fair Trade has been the growth of Bolgatanga baskets which are now available worldwide and at a fair price.
The work of International Service and TradeAID has also resulted in Bolgatanga signing a twinning agreement with the English Fair Trade town of Shaftesbury, this has enabled good knowledge and practice to be shared enabling Bolgatanga to make significant steps to achieving the five founding goals.
Bolgatanga's first ever Bolgatanga International Crafts and Arts Fair was held in December 2014, this event is another key step on the journey to Fair Trade success and secures goal 4.