Australia’s direct AID program: partners for lasting Development


The Australian Government is committed to development initiatives that reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development – initiatives that seek to empower people, improve economic livelihoods, and improve health, food security and human rights.

The Direct Aid Program (DAP) is one example of this, and is a key Australian Government program advancing development efforts in developing countries. For over 12 years, the Australian High Commission in Ghana has funded DAP projects across its nine countries of accreditation, including Ghana. DAP projects are implemented in partnership with local development organisations, and are essentially aimed at empowering vulnerable communities and alleviating poverty.

DAP project profile: University of Mines and Technology Training Program for Small-Scale Miners.

In addition to agriculture, education and water sanitation (WASH), the extractives sector remains a priority area for the Australian High Commission’s Direct Aid Program. The mining sector is one of central importance to both the Australian and Ghanaian economies, and is therefore an area of close cooperation for the two countries. The High Commission has partnered with local organisations on a range of projects which seek to strengthen accountability and transparency in the extractives sector, to ensure greater community benefits from mining, and to offer alternative livelihoods to actors engaged in illegal or small-scale mining.

In 2016, the Australian High Commission awarded a DAP grant to the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) in Tarkwa for a project which involved training over 450 small-scale miners in improved gold recovery techniques, safety procedures and environmental stewardship. Project objectives included the promotion of better economic outcomes for the miners and their families, improved environmental stewardship and, through enhanced safety standards, to help preserve lives of miners and to avoid negative effects on families of accidents and injuries sustained while mining. The project was successfully implemented by the High Commission’s partners ate UmaT, and will continue to yield positive outcomes for the environment, the beneficiaries and their families into future.

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission, known as Austrade, contributes to Australia’s economic prosperity by helping Australian businesses, education institutions, tourism operators, governments and citizens as they develop international markets; win foreign direct investments; promote international education, strengthen Australia’s tourism industry. Austrade achieves this by; generating market information and insight; promoting Australian capabilities; making connections through an extensive global network of contacts; leveraging the badge of government offshore and providing quality advice and services. In Ghana, Austrade is located within the Australian High Commission.

What is Austrade’s role in Ghana?

Austrade’s primary role in Ghana is to assist Australian organisations with their plans to enter and expand their presence here.

Two sectors Austrade focuses on are mining and education. In mining, Australian organisations in Ghana, including those in the mining equipment, technology and services (METS) sector are helping increase productivity and safety across the mining supply chain. In education, Australian institutions provide opportunities for Ghanaian students across tertiary, vocational and school disciplines and are keen to continue to do so. In April 2017, Austrade is organising an Australian education mission in Accra which will involve many of Australia’s leading universities showcasing opportunities to study in Australia.

While these two sectors, mining and education, will continue to be important for Austrade in Ghana, in 2017 Austrade is also looking to promote other sectors where Australia has strong expertise including food and agricultural services, water management, infrastructure and renewable energy.

An important part of Austrade’s role in assisting Australian organisations in Ghana is to introduce local businesses that can assist Australian organisations with their local knowledge, contacts and experience. These local businesses include specialist service providers, agents, distributors and buyers. In regards to this, Austrade is keen to get in contact with such Ghanaian businesses. Austrade works closely with Ghanaian business interested in obtaining Australian goods and services and can provide insights about Australian industry and service capabilities; help source and contact Australian suppliers, and outline what is available for international students who would like to study at our excellent educational institutions.

  • How do Ghanaian Businesses wanting to do business with Australia get in contact with you?

Austrade has an experienced team within the Australian High Commission that has good contacts with Australian businesses and within the local business community. If you would like further information about doing business with Australian firms please contact