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11.05.2005 Regional News

New development initiative launched

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Banka (Ash.), May 11, GNA-A New development initiative that seeks to engineer active community involvement in project planning, implementation and management has been launched at Banka in the Asante-Akim South District.

The plan christen, Community-Based Rural Development Project (CBRDP), replaces the Agricultural Sector Improvement Programme (ASIP) and the Village Infrastructure Project (VIP) programmes, which had been considered to be inadequate in the fight to reduce rural poverty. Mr Appiah Nsiah, the District Budget Officer, stated that under the programme, Chiefs and opinion leaders would be expected to play crucial roles by mobilising the people in the communities to enable them to identify and prioritise their needs.

He said this will be incorporated into the District Assembly's development plans to give real meaning to community participation in decision-making.

Mr Nsiah said: "The people would become directly involved in the battle to reduce poverty, gain improved access to social services, enhance their quality of life and become economically empowered." He said sensitisation workshops on various components of the programme including institutional strengthening and capacity building, financial management, monitoring and evaluation would be organised in the area.

He said sub-district structures of the assembly would also be made to become more functional to ensure the success of the programme. Mr Michael Ataogye, the District Co-ordinating Director, gave the assurance that Town and Area Councils would be sufficiently resourced to start operating as soon as possible. He suggested that their offices should be opened at least for eight hours each day so that they could served as effective link between the communities and the assembly. 11 May 05

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