Highlighted results

72,462 people using safely managed drinking water services

7,548 family farms with increased productivity and/or income

192 jobs supported in the water and sanitation sector


The Netherlands continued to build upon its solid relations with Ghana to support Ghana’s economic prosperity objectives. The Dutch Aid to Trade policy is in line with the Ghana Beyond Aid Policy, which has the ambition to finance its own development and economic ties gradually replacing official development aid (ODA). The Netherlands and Ghana are working together productively on inclusive growth.

The Dutch policy focuses on promotion of trade and investment in countries where development cooperation will be scaled down. With regard to the priority themes, new financing and business models have been introduced to encourage better participation by the Dutch and Ghanaian private sector, knowledge institutions and NGOs. The Netherlands continued to support innovative and sustainable initiatives to help farmers improve production methods and increase their access to markets.

The Netherlands also created incentives for the Ghanaian and Dutch private sector to invest in clean drinking water, clean and safe sanitation and waste recycling. These efforts showed good results meeting targets and in some cases exceeding them. While working on a responsible and durable transition from aid to trade, the Netherlands in Ghana also visibly contributed to a number of Sustainable Development Goals (i.e. 6, 8, 12 and 16).

Results 2018

Through the business-oriented design of the various programmes in Ghana, the Netherlands has had an impact at several levels. The programmes improved productivity and living standards for farmers and improved access to clean water and hygiene for households and schools. The Ghanaian private and public sector have been equipped with skills and have benefitted from technology and information supporting their innovative strengths and meeting their international ambitions.

Results by theme

Private sector development Food security Water

Featured project Ghana


The GhanaVeg programme was implemented from 2013 to 2017, with the aim of developing a competitive and sustainable vegetable sector in Ghana. GhanaVeg supported 30 innovative projects that were implemented by lead companies. The programme worked on a number of issues in the enabling environment. These range from measures for the control of plant diseases to food safety, addressing environmental concerns, and increasing public awareness on health and nutrition.

In 2015 an EU export ban on several vegetables led to poorer results than expected in the area of export. However, sales in high-value Ghanaian retail markets grew. Through capacity building for regulators and technical assistance to farmers, the EU export ban was lifted, because the quality of products became in line with EU requirements. The number of exported products which did not pass the rules and requirements by the EU went down from 326 (2014) to 3. GhanaVeg has been scaled up to HortiFresh, a regional programme including fruits besides vegetables.

Details about this project on the HortiFresh website

Read more about GhanaVeg and HortiFresh

Private sector development

The results in context

The Netherlands supported private sector development in Ghana through strong focus on equipping young entrepreneurs with tools to improve their profitability. For instance, in the Probable to Profitable (P2P) project, local finance for drinking water and sanitation was provided in collaboration with a Ghanaian bank. In this programme loans are subsidized that are taken out by individuals and small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s) starting a business related to water and sanitation. Training is also provided to the bank staff and the SME’s to effectively deal with these loans. The strategy is successful, as is shown by the high repayment rate of the loans (92%) and the fact that the government has taken on board recommendations for its nationwide Sanitation Fund. Through the project 192 jobs in water and sanitation were supported.

Food security

The results in context

In food and nutrition security the Netherlands supported businesses in Ghana’s cocoa sector through the establishment of Rural Service Centres, which are private companies that that provide services like improving farmers’ understanding of business finance. This led to the mobilization of credit to over 8,350 farmers to support their businesses. In the domestic vegetable market business support was provided to 22 private companies, spanning from growers, input suppliers, food processors, domestic retail shops to exporters. The Ghanaian vegetable retail market grew from US$ 607,000 in 2013 to over US$ 10 million in 2017. Exports increased with 35%. The number of quality wholesalers and retailers increased sharply and their number of outlets and sales increased.



Farmers with increased productivity and income


2,548 additional family farms


On track

In response to productivity challenges resulting from poor service delivery to cocoa farmers in Ghana, the Cocoa Rehabilitation and Intensification Programme (CoRIP) was designed to promote productivity, profitability and competitiveness of the Ghanaian cocoa sector.

The programme aims to address challenges of the cocoa supply chain (the whole route from the plant to the plate of the consumer). The CoRIP model achieved to set up Rural Service Centres (RSCs) by private companies as farmer-linked vehicles. This facilitates access to agricultural goods (planting material, fertilizer, pesticides), production services, credit and other technical assistance necessary to increase production of beneficiary farmers. At baseline, the average yield per hectare of cocoa farm in Ghana was 400kg/ha. In contrast, 3,146 farmers as beneficiaries of CORIP in four main cocoa geographical areas performed much better and achieved an average of 900kg/ha. Farmers more than doubled their production in cocoa and other crops (mainly horticulture) consequently, increasing

2,548 additional cocoa family farms with increased productivity and/or income (Male:2,057; Female: 491)




Number of students with improved sanitary facilities in schools (year)




On track

Through several innovative projects, the Netherlands in Ghana is contributing significantly to improving sanitary facilities in schools. The projects, through attention for maintenance, cleaning and behaviour change are designed to be sustainable.

Through the “Football for WASH” project, 85 schools in Ghana have received a new or second-hand toilet structure combined with relevant water infrastructure. This led to improved sanitation and hygiene for almost 40,000 schoolchildren. The project has wider impact, as professional football players helped to stimulate behavioral change. In turn children influenced their parents about necessity of having a toilet at home. Added to this result, the Netherlands through collaboration with UNICEF improved drinking water and sanitary facilities for an additional 11,394 schoolchildren. The Water and Sanitation for Urban Poor Partnership for advancing sustainable sanitation project also provided 7,700 schoolchildren with access to sanitation facilities in the Accra West area.

59,094 students

Number of people making use of improved water resources


625,481 people with access


On track

In Ghana 89% of people have access to water, which means the Millennium Goals of 2015 with regard to water have been reached. However, there are still huge inequalities between rural and-urban areas, rich and poor, women/girls and men/boys. To contribute to closing this gap, the Netherlands uses a business approach for water and sanitation service delivery in both rural and urban areas.

Because of the success of several projects under the Ghana Netherlands WASH programme, aimed at improving access to drinking water, the ambitious target of reaching more than 800,000 people in 2021 will be reached and can be adjusted to a higher target. Progress until now is encouraging and results are expected to be sustainable. For instance, numbers of users of water stations that were built with a good business plan will continue to increase, as businesses are expanded. As part of the abovementioned target, the Cape Coast Water supply project supplied 400,000 people with reliable access to clean drinking water in the Central region of Ghana. The Netherlands WASH programme is also supporting Ghanaians in lobbying for changes in national rules and policies. The aim is to ensure that lessons learned in the area of effective water supply will be used to develop more effective policies, rules and regulations.

Background and future Ghana

Glimpse into the future

Projected high growth figures for Ghana are expected to lead to a better economic situation and a more business-friendly environment in the near future. Moreover, the forecast is that Ghana’s debts will decrease. All of this is expected to impact our programmes in agriculture and water and sanitation in a positive way.

The Netherlands aims to support programmes with a viable business model that are designed to continue to produce results without ODA in the longer run. Through this approach we have learnt valuable lessons in the area of generating financing through private sector channels, for instance by demanding co-financing from businesses or by lowering the investment risks for banks through training and through subsidizing the interest of loans. The main lesson learned is that the best results are achieved when loans and equity are available and are managed by professional financial institutions.

By 2021, in line with the transition from aid to trade, it is expected that the embassy in Accra will no longer provide development aid. In the coming years the Netherlands and Ghana can still make use of existing instruments increasing trade and investment and improving private sector development.

Additional sources

Countries page on Dutch government site

Page on current policy towards Ghana

Facebook page

Follow the Embassy of Ghana on Facebook

Embassy of Ghana website

Visit the Embassy of Ghana website

Results Food security

Download PDF with results for Food security in Ghana

Results Water

Download PDF with results for Water in Ghana

Expenditure by channel


Expenditure by theme