Business Advising Volunteer

Project Description

The Agriculture project has three goals including (1) improving farm productivity, (2) improving farm income, and (3) improving organizational capacity. To achieve these goals Agriculture Volunteers promote improved agricultural production practices for cereal crops (corn, soy and rice), small animal husbandry, beekeeping, fruit and nut trees, and gardening practices. Many Volunteers also promote tree nurseries as a cash crop and for nutritional purposes. They also support agricultural organizations and promote better business practices and add value to agricultural products to increase incomes and improve food security. Supporting community associations which have savings and loan initiatives is a valuable component of many Volunteer assignments.

Volunteers will collaborate with community leaders to identify their community’s needs and implement appropriate interventions. As such, Volunteers will play the role of catalyst for a wide range of activities, limited only by the creativity of the community and the Volunteers. Activities may include but are not limited to:

• Train farmers to employ climate smart agricultural techniques to improve crop production and food security
• Create model vegetable and/or perma-garden(s) and use it to train community members on small scale gardening
• Train farmers on increasing profitability by adding value, selecting for quality, and monitoring markets
• Encourage farmers to implement small scale income generating projects (i.e. animal husbandry, beekeeping)
• Teach community members to construct and use appropriate technologies (i.e. energy efficient stoves)

Successful Volunteers have a willingness to work with farmers on improving business practices, including accessing micro-credit if appropriate.

Volunteers also work with community members to develop secondary projects. Examples of secondary projects include: teaching at local schools, promoting sports for boys and girls, improving school or health center facilities, construction of wells and latrines, or working on local capacity building projects. Of great importance in any community development work is the time one takes just being there, developing relationships, and building trust.

Ghana is one of the Peace Corps countries participating in Let Girls Learn, an important initiative promoting gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. You will receive training on gender challenges in your country and you will have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. During your service, you will look for ways to work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ sense of agency. As part of the initiative, you will also report on these efforts and their impact.

Required Skills

Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any business discipline
• 5 years professional experience in business management

Desired Skills

Most successful candidates will have the following relevant qualifications and qualities:
• Experience using cost-benefit analysis for business ideas to increase revenue
• Experience talking to groups of people about business practices such as accounting, bookkeeping, inventory management and marketing
• Experience delivering training on small business practices
• Willingness to work in a team environment as well as be a dedicated self-starter
• Strong communication and interpersonal skills
• Flexibility and willingness to learn new knowledge, skills and attitudes

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position. Please take a moment to explore the Language Comments section below to find out more on how local language(s) will be utilized during service.

Additional Language Information

Ghana is a country with a plethora of local languages. As such, while we teach everyone a local language that will be one of the most useful at their eventual site, Volunteers should know that more than 1/3rd of our Volunteers end up acquiring a second local language when living at their site. We use an invitee questionnaire to identify Americans who are adept at learning languages, and oftentimes use that information to place certain candidates in communities where we know that more than one local language is going to be spoken. Be comprehensive on your responses to the invitee questionnaire so that Peace Corps Ghana can make the best placement for you and your unique set of skills.

Living Conditions

Placement and Housing: Peace Corps/Ghana has Volunteers in all 10 regions of the country. Some sites are very remote, while others are in sizeable towns or cities. Peace Corps Volunteers are placed at the request of a local community or partnering agency (NGO or school), so Volunteers go where they are needed. Peace Corps/Ghana requires the community to contribute housing that meets the minimum standard of at least one room with a porch/sitting area. Housing is to be adequately ventilated with a roof, a solid floor, walls, access to year-round water supply, latrine (often a long drop or pit), bathing facilities (often a bucket bath), and secure doors and windows. Some Volunteers find that their housing greatly exceeds these minimum standards, while others live in mud huts at the minimal level.

Climate: The climate of Ghana is tropical, with two main seasons—the dry season from November through March and the rainy season from May through August. It is hot and comparatively dry along the southeast coast. It is hot and humid in the southwest and dry in the north. During the dry season, the Harmattan affects the northern regions with days of continual cool air, haze, and fine dust.

Culture: Culture in Ghana is rich, vibrant and social, and life in Ghana is largely lived outside of the homes. Ghanaians have a well-deserved reputation for being open people. Welcoming visitors is a point of cultural identity. Hosting visitors is the ultimate expression of Ghanaian culture. Acknowledging the presence of another human being by greeting them honors their existence. You will be expected to take on this practice. Indeed, your ability to greet and to form relationships will be a significant factor in your success. Especially in the local communities, visitors will be welcomed into families and quickly be made to feel at home.

Transportation: Transportation is primarily via public vehicles, which, depending on the remoteness of the site, can have irregular schedules and may or may not be well maintained. Often, placement requires long hours of travel on rough roads. Volunteers generally walk or bike in and around their communities.

Dress: Ghanaians are very meticulous about their dress in the workplace and wear their good clothes. They are particular about their personal hygiene (a real accomplishment in communities of mud-brick houses and no running water), and cleanliness is a sign of respect. Volunteers are expected to dress and behave accordingly.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Ghana: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Medical Considerations in Ghana

  • Ghana may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: insulin-dependent diabetes, HIV. 
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: none identified.
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: none identified. 
  • After arrival in Ghana, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot, to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and to receive mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please also review Important Medical Information for Applicants (PDF) to learn about other health conditions typically not supported in Peace Corps service.


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