The Foundation for the Transformation of Marginal Areas. TAMA Foundation Universal is a registered non-profit organization in Ghana. Our approach is to find solutions to spatial inequalities by promoting transformational development in areas otherwise considered economically marginal, remote or prone to chronic poverty. TAMA Foundation draws inspiration from Article 36, Clause 2, Section (d) of the Directive Principles of State Policy of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana which specifies that the State shall as a matter of principle undertake “even and balanced development of all regions and every part of each region of Ghana, and, in particular, improving the conditions of life in the rural areas, and generally, redressing any imbalance in development between the rural and urban areas”. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their underlying principles of ‘leave no one behind’ and “reaching the furthest first” provide additional motivation for our work. Our emphasis is on transformational change driven by multi-stakeholder efforts. TAMA Foundation is also the local Northern Ghanaian name for the shea-fruit – the unique nourishing fruit of the Savannah, the source of the highly desired shea-butter which symbolizes livelihoods, nourishment, healing and innovation. This is where our logo derives its inspiration from.
TAMA Foundation promotes even, balanced and transformational development in Ghana and the West African sub-region, drawing on the unique cultures, ingenuity, natural resources and locational advantages of the marginalized regions for their transformation. Our model is to promote multi-disciplinary partnerships for research and critical analysis, for information-sharing, spatial planning and investments into the marginalized areas for jobs and sustainable development.
Our vision is a prosperous, peaceful, green and equitable Ghana with equal opportunities for all
Our Core Values
Transformation :Our starting point is to identify the unique resources of our communities and then co-evolve a theory of change for their transformation to ensure a good life for the people.
Equitable development:We believe in equal opportunities for all and will work to reduce social and economic disparities in society.
Gender Equality and Social Inclusion:We employ gender equality and social inclusion strategies and tools in our partnerships and programmes to provide equal opportunities for women, men, girls, boys, persons with disabilities and other socially excluded populations.
Partnerships :Our model for transformational change in our communities is anchored on the principles of collaboration, participation, co-creation and ownership, and complementarity of skills, and resources of our partners.
Innovation :We leverage indigenous and global technologies to address spatial inequalities, develop skills and create wealth for our community members.
Sustainability :We support technologies and development approaches that are friendly to our environment.
Critical thinking :We deploy and encourage out of the box thinking for planning and problem-solving.
There is a recognition that spatial inequalities are deepening in many countries and that if not addressed these can undermine democracy and development and even stimulate violent conflicts. The development landscape in Africa in particular is characterized by uneven, unplanned urbanization and unequal development between and within geographic regions. In Ghana, this is symbolized by persisting, even increasing, inequalities between the northern and southern halves of the country. Within regions, spatial inequalities are equally sharp. In the southern part of Ghana, traditional fisher communities in the coast, former cocoa producing areas in Volta, Central and Brong-Ahafo regions and mining towns that once thrived at the height of the extraction of precious minerals, among others, also suffer economic stagnation and decline. Like Northern Ghana, these areas face net-outflow of populations through migration to the richer parts, making the potential for change even more difficult. To address these growing spatial disparities, a fresh approach to development is required, one that is spatially focused – smart, place-based development strategies that aim to promote dynamic evolutionary and transformational change. Such a strategy is based on the recognition that even those areas perceived as resource poor, possess unique resources and comparative advantages that when properly identified through systematic planning can be transformational. This is the focus of TAMA Foundation – to identify through planning, catalytic public and private investments that can make transformational change in the long run possible, and to facilitate multi-stakeholder partnerships to drive the necessary solutions. TAMA Foundation will play a linkage role – linking skills training to industry, agricultural investments to aspiring young agriculturalists; financial resource providers to innovators. The Foundation will also play an aggregator role – providing platforms for the sharing of ideas and for collective voice and accountability; as well as an incubator role – providing opportunities for young people, women’s organisations and entrepreneurs to nurture ideas.
Our Niche & Motivation
TAMA Foundation believes that areas such as the Savannah regions of Ghana hitherto considered ‘basket cases’ can be made to thrive if the appropriate conditions are in play, including critical public investments to make private investments attractive, and an engaged and ambitious community to drive the change. Multi-sectoral, systems based planning and problem-solving approaches will be deployed to provide guidance to investments and coordinated interventions. It is also clear that there is an institutional niche for capacity building services and collaboration in the area of integrated spatial planning especially at the decentralized levels. We will build on the experience gained in leading the planning of northern Ghana to extend such services elsewhere. We will also draw on on-going initiatives such as Innovation Hubs and the use of ICT in our capacity delivery models.
What Transformation means to TAMA
The focus of our work is to bring about transformational change. This involves bridging the multiple deprivations and barriers that prevent individuals or groups of people from participating fully in the economic, social, and political life of the society in which they live. Transformational development, a necessary long-term outcome, refers to change that is structural in nature, affecting the underlying causes of poverty, under-development and joblessness. Transformational development is one that increases people’s capacity to harness the resources around them to significantly increase productivity, incomes and social wellbeing, and the quality of their lives in an environment that is peaceful, green and sustainable. It requires vision, shifts in mind-set as well as ways of working to bring about change. To promote transformation, data is essential and the capacity to organize that data for planning and project execution is equally crucial. TAMA Foundation will work towards being a one-stop shop for geo-referenced information.