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“Thinking Regionally, Acting Locally”

For almost a decade, the conditions of the over 16 million people living in northern parts of Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Togo have been threatened by the spread of conflict from the Sahel and increased vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. These external pressures of conflict and climate change, as well as the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, have compounded challenges of poverty, exclusion, and weak governance. Together, the northern parts of the Gulf of Guinea have become a unique converging point for multiple crisis.

The Project will support “thinking regionally” by coordinating data, knowledge, and policy agenda to prevent conflict and spillover effects from shared fragility and climate-related risks across the four (4) countries. The project makes it a priority to strengthen local institutions and enhance the voices, influence, and ability of vulnerable people (including youths) to act and play a role in prioritising local development investments and promoting social cohesion and trust in their communities.

The project also supports the civil and political inclusion of youth which is critical to channel their energy and aspirations, and create the space for self-expression and to transform potential frustrations into constructive local actions. In addition, the project will support the inclusion of pastoralist groups, who will be engaged as part of community-driven development approach in local activities to ensure project investments address broader needs. Gender dimension has been integrated into the project design to ensure the project benefits vulnerable women to protect their livelihoods and foster economic opportunities in a safe and climate resilient manner.

The Government of Ghana (GoG), through the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development (MLGDRD), in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, has received a credit facility of $150 million (out of the total $450 million) from the World Bank to implement the Gulf of Guinea Northern Regions Social Cohesion (SOCO) Project, in six regions in the northern parts of Ghana – namely the Northern, Upper East, Upper West, North East, Savannah and Oti Regions.


The Gulf of Guinea Northern Regions Social Cohesive (SOCO) project seeks “to improve the regional collaboration, socio-economic and climate resilience of border-zone communities in the target northern regions of the Gulf of Guinea countries exposed to conflict and climate risks.”