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General News of Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Source: Samuel Ansah Boateng

Global Communities dragged to court for wrongful termination of contract with YES - Ghana

Cooperative Housing Foundation, a US based NGO operating in Ghana as Global Communities, has been dragged to the Human Rights Court to show cause why its management, assigns and privies should not be reprimanded for wrongfully abrogating a legal contract between them and the Youth Empowerment Synergy (YES-Ghana) a local NGO.

YES–Ghana is praying the Court to, as a matter of urgency, place an injunction on the termination of YES-Ghana’s involvement in the Youth Entrepreneurial Development Initiative for Employment (YIEDIE) project, funded by the MasterCard Foundation in Canada, to save over 115 Ghanaian jobs.

According to an affidavit in support of the interlocutory injunction filed by lawyers for YES-Ghana, the unilateral termination of YES-Ghana’s involvement in the YIEDIE project by Global Communities from 1st June 2017 will not only be arbitrary, but unconscionable, unfair and unlawful. YES-Ghana is however, seeking an order for specific performance of the agreement which is for five years to enable its 115 employees continue working in the YIEDIE project for the period.

An order for an interim injunction is also before the court for consideration to restrain the defendant, their agents or assigns from carrying out the said termination on the sole ground of Article 30.3 of the agreement and from carrying out any decision or activities with the aim of interfering with the work of the plaintiff and its 115 employees in the YIEDIE project.

Lawyers for YES-Ghana argue that contrary to the initial consortium arrangement as prescribed by the MasterCard Foundation’s Partner Guide, which led to securing of appropriate funding for the YIEDIE project, the defendant, who was the lead applicant decided to enter into separate agreements with each of the partners, and that several workshops had been protested by the applicant against the said agreement because the terms violated the letter and spirit of the MasterCard Foundation’s Partner Guide. But, being a lonely voice on the matter, and based on assurances by the defendant that a review of the contractual process would be done at the end of the first year of the project, applicant decided to sign the said agreement with the defendant.

According to the Writ, since the project began in April 2015, the applicant has heavily invested at the expense of other engagements and projects in the first two years of implementation to learn, build and master a sophisticated mobilization and recruitment approach, build both human resource and institutional capacity which have altogether enabled it to work conscientiously on the project to achieve set targets. This indicates that the abrupt termination of its contracts is certain to cause irreparable damages.

The hearing for this case is slated for 14 June 2017.

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