April 7, 2020 Print

For vulnerable people living in poor places, the opportunity to start a small business offers a sustainable path out of poverty. That’s the message of “Beneficiaries Experiences with Social Protection Programmes for Poverty Reduction in Ghana,” a new documentary produced by IMANI Center for Policy and Education,  an Atlas Network partner based in Ghana. The half-hour film focuses on the lives of enterprising individuals working to lift themselves out of poverty, offering a look at the lives of entrepreneurial people living in the country’s poorest communities against the backdrop of their experiences with the government’s Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty program.


IMANI's half-hour film focuses on the lives of enterprising individuals working to lift themselves out of poverty, offering a look at the lives of entrepreneurial people living in the country’s poorest communities against the backdrop of their experiences with the government’s Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty program.

“Beneficiaries Experiences with Social Protection Programmes for Poverty Reduction in Ghana,” was accompanied by the launch of an exhibition of photographs from fourteen artists depicting different dimensions of poverty and unemployment. Government representatives from various departments, including the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, and District Chief Executives attended the documentary’s premiere and toured the exhibition.

The documentary and art exhibit are part of IMANI’s latest initiative to illustrate the harsh realities of poverty in Ghana and highlight the role of government in creating a positive business environment. IMANI studies show that government policies that empower businesses allow for innovation in the poorest communities. More economic freedom allows individuals to create businesses to support their families while simultaneously filling needs for various services within the community. When governments approach welfare with a goal of creating self-reliance, entire communities have the potential to be lifted out of poverty together.

By educating the public and government officials, IMANI hopes to foster a culture of self-sufficiency and encourage the government to adopt policies conducive to economic freedom.  IMANI estimates their efforts have reached 30,000 people since the release of the documentary at the end of January. Government officials who attended the premiere voiced support and outlined future steps to address the issues raised by IMANI.

IMANI’s mission is to protect economic rights by promoting public discussion and informing policymakers, and they are consistently ranked the best think tank in Ghana by the University of Pennsylvania’s Global Go To Think Tank Index Report. Studies led by the group regarding contract enforcement led to government action to increase transparency in the contracting process. They also directly influenced a government move to increase public accountability with their IMANIFesto initiative.

IMANI knows that creating a culture of economic freedom is the best path to success in Ghana. In such a rapidly developing region, ensuring the most vulnerable of society have the opportunity to become self-sufficient will ensure long-term prosperity for the entire country.

Read IMANI's Report: Beneficiaries Experiences with Social Protection Programmes for Poverty Reduction in Ghana.

This project was funded in part by an Atlas Network Joining Up to Minimize Poverty (JUMP) grant.