The Popular Sector (Non-Governmental Organizations)

Organisations that are independent of the government have existed in Ghana for many years. These range from one Asafo groups (traditional armies), ethnic groupings, clans and benevolent and religious groups. Some of these groups were already active during the independence struggle, before political parties were formed in Ghana. Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) and Community Based Organisations! (CBO’s), as they are known now, were relatively few in the country until recently. In the KEEA District in general and Elmina in particular, only insignificant number of NGO’s and CBO’s operate as compared to other areas of the country.Community Development Committees (Groups) The Save Elmina Association (SEA) a non-governmental organisation was founded by a small group of Elmina citizens and Dutch nationals.

The objective of the association is primarily to promote the socio-economic development of the Elmina Traditional Area, and in particular the conservation and restoration of historical buildings and other features of particular interest in Elmina, besides the Castle of St. George d’ Elmina and Fort Coenraadsburg on St. Jago Hill.Since its formation, the Association has been in the forefront in the promotion of closer contact between the people of Elmina, the Netherlands as well as other people of African descent in the Diaspora.It has also promoted investment in Elmina. However most of its members reside outside Eimina and therefore are not actively involved in the day-to-day activities and problems in Eimina.Another NGO is the National Society for the Advancement of our Legacy (NASOL).

It was founded on June 23, 1997 as a response to the widespread poverty situation in the country in general and Eimina in particular. NASOL since its inception has been operating in various parts of the Central Region with twelve (12) branches and a  total membership of approximately three thousand (3000).The organisation provides self help facilities, pre-school facilities, basic health facilities, formal and informal education to rural communities, develop entrepreneurial skills, ’provide financial assistance and manage pension schemes for the people of Elmina. It also undertakes projects and does all other things to generate income to finance and sustain the projects for the benefit of the people.

Recently the Netherlands Embassy has approved a grant to NASOL to establish a micro credit scheme for residents in Elmina.The Central and Western Fishmongers Association (CEWEFIA) is an NGO that mobilises women who are into fish processing. They provide fish processing facilities as well as micro-credit facilities to the women. It also undertakes training programmes for the women.Christian Rural Aid Network (CRAN) is also operating in Elmina. The organisation provides micro-credit facilities to the people of Eimina. Finally there are several groups who for one to join on the basis of political preference or sport. These groups are sometimes involved in cleaning, communal labour or charity.

Safo Companies

The defence of the Eimina State is traditionally the responsibility of the ten Asafo companies. They are Ankobea. Akyemfo, Nkodwofo, Wombir, Alatabanfo, Enyianpafo, Brofo Nkowa and Mawrefo- During the Dutch presence in Eimina, the Asafo companies assisted the Dutch garrison in the defence of the town, and specialised in specific military tasks (infantry, naval), which tasks are still represented by statutes on the houses or ’Posubans’ of the Asafo Companies in the town, and as symbols on their flags and insignia.

The Asafo companies also play a role in the election of the Omanhene and are the guardians of the traditional culture of the town. in recent years the latter function has become less pronounced, but it is still latently present and could be revived. Recently the younger members of some of the companies became involved in party political controversy in which the shrines (Houses) of some companies were seriously damaged. In these modern times it is necessary to redefine their roles and see how the companies can be actively involved in development issues in town.

Date Created : 11/21/2017 5:46:59 AM