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27.11.2006 Social News

Poverty must not exclude people from development— Dep. Minister

By gna
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Mrs. Frema Osei Opare, Deputy Minister of Manpower Youth and Employment has observed that the country's drive towards prosperity in the next decade would be meaningless if the vast majority were excluded from contributing to national development because of poverty and unemployment.

She has, therefore, called for a multi-sectoral approach to minimizing poverty, disease, ignorance and illiteracy for the urban slums of the country.

"We invite policy makers in the areas of housing, water and sanitation and health at both district and national levels to coordinate and manage their policies and programmes in order to ensure maximum impact."

Mrs Opare was speaking at the inauguration of the Kayaayo Youth Association in Accra on the theme: "Kayayee Syndromes and the Socio-Economic Development of Ghana," organized by People's Dialogue of Human Settlement and Ghana Federation of the Urban Poor.

The Association was formed with the aim to organize members to share information on how they could improve on their lives and to allow for easy gathering of data on the Kayayee phenomenon.

Mrs Opare was hopeful that the formation of the Association would end the state of desperation of the Kayayee and foster a feeling of belonging and economic empowerment.

She asked the members of the Association to cultivate the habit of savings to enable them to use the funds as a collateral to access micro loans from the banks to establish their own businesses.

Mrs. Opare pledged the assistance of the Ministry in teaching them the basic skills on how to run their association.

In a Speech read on her behalf by Miss Atawa Akyea, the Minister of Women and Children's Affairs, Hajia Alima Mahama said despite various studies on the Kayayee phenomenon, the prescribed solutions to the problem had not workrd so far because of the failure to consider the source of the issue.

She said the drift could only be halted when measures were taken to address the economic and infrastructural conditions of the three Northern Regions of the country.

It is in this direction that the government has adopted different policy measures such as the implementation of the capitation grant, school feeding programme, giving rations to girls to encourage their enrolment and retention at school.

Hajia Alima asked the executives of the Association to use it to educate members on issues such as cultivating savings culture, early marriages teenage pregnancy, personal hygiene, and sanitation, as well as advocating on women issues.

Mr Braimah Farouk, Executive Director, PDHS, said more pragmatic policies were needed to solve the Kayayee problem once and for all.

He pledged his organization's continuous support for the Association to achieve its aim and objectives.

Executive officers of the various branches of the association were sworn into office.

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