Business News of Wednesday, 21 March 2012Source: GNA Madam Hanna Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry, says the Government was building a better Ghana through good policies and programmes aimed at sustaining the country’s middle income status.
“The NDC government is committed to making the growth of our country more inclusive by building capacities at community, district, regional and national levels”, she said.
Addressing the opening of a three-day start up workshop of the Rural Enterprises Programme in Sunyani, she said this would enhance the participation and contribution of all, especially the rural poor, in the growth process.
According to the trade and industry minister, the programme “provides an appropriate platform for all districts to co-ordinate, streamline and mainstream their enterprise development and employment generation interventions in a sustainable manner”.
She entreated Municipal and District Chief Executives to prepare adequately to fulfill the enrollment conditions for the successful implementation of the programme.
Ms Tetteh noted that moving towards the goal of sustainable enterprises development through decentralization required fundamental changes in institutions as well as human attitudes and behaviour.
The implementing entities should therefore carefully study the district-based model for micro and small enterprise promotion and reposition themselves to enhance the up-scaling and mainstreaming of the model within the public and private institutional systems, she stressed.
She said the key stakeholders at the workshop would dispassionately discuss and have a participatory exchange of experiences to make the programme more responsive in creating new thinking, new habits, new practices and new designs towards sustainable enterprises development.
Mr Kwasi Attah-Antwi, national programme director, said the workshop marked the beginning of implementation of activities of the Rural Enterprises Programme Phase, which would upscale the hitherto known second phase of the Rural Enterprises Project.
“The national start up workshop is intended to provide an opportunity key stakeholders to be informed and educated adequately on the details of the programme and its implementation arrangements and also participate in the initial planning activities of the programme”, he added.
In an address read for him by Mr Eric Opoku, Deputy Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye Marfo, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, said the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) “is always delighted to be associated with the activities of the Rural Enterprises Project, because of its development focus on job creation, which is creating economic opportunities for our people, thereby contributing to the enhancement of their lives and livelihoods”.
He gave the assurance that the RCC would continue to support the project to ensure that all districts in the region would have the opportunity to receive support for the promotion of enterprises.
Dr Ulac Demirag, Country Programme Manager, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), stressed the success of the programme would strongly depend on the ownership and commitment of the districts that would be supported to facilitate access to business development services, managerial and technical skills, access to finance and access to appropriate technologies.
He said the programme marked IFAD’s largest investment in the history of its partnership with Ghana and “at IFAD, we are happy that the African Development Bank (AFDB) has also agreed to continue this successful partnership”.
A representative of AFDB said the project had shown that skills development could play a key role in upgrading the living standards of Ghanaians with the creation of sustainable jobs and businesses.
He said it was against this backdrop that the bank was eager to partner IFAD again in the implementation of the third phase of the project, dubbed the Rural Enterprises Programme.**