The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Alhassan Samari, has said that the socio-economic landscape of the country demands strong interventions to reduce the incidents of poverty. He said the government in realising this, has introduced Macro and Micro-Financial Schemes to enhance investment and increase productivity in the country.
Some of the schemes the government has introduced, according to him, include the Micro-Finance and Small Loans Scheme (MASLOC) and the Venture Capital Fund.
Mr Samari made the remark at the launch of the 2nd Phase of the 6th European Union Micro Projects Programmes in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, yesterday.
The micro projects programme is a collaboration between the Government of Ghana and the European Union to increase access and utilisation of good quality basic social and economic infrastructure and services by deprived communities.
It is essentially a rural development programme meant to enhance the quality of life for rural people. The programme has been ongoing in the country since 1990 and has since gone through 5 programmes successfully.
The 2nd phase of the programme has three components: Capacity building of District Assemblies and communities, provision of infrastructure projects and income generating projects component.
Mr Alhassan Samari indicated that the country had benefited from various projects under the programme to the tune of 1.83 million euros adding that, a total of 3,743 micro projects have been implemented under the programme.
'The benefits this Region in particular has derived from the recent past 5th micro-projects programme is still fresh in our minds,' the minister added. He gave the determination of the Regional Co-ordinating Council to ensure that the programme is successfully implemented in the region to further enhance the standard of living of the people
He advised Municipal and District Chief Executives to be more vigilant and actively participate to ensure the effective implementation of the project. He warned that the RCC would not condone with acts that were likely to mar the success of the programme in the region.
The European Union and the Government of Ghana micro projects programme manager, Mr Kwabena Dankyi said the 5th micro projects programme implemented 169 projects in the Upper East Region at a total cost of ¢ 13.9 billion between July 2001 and June 2005. He added that the 6th micro projects programme, which is expected to end in June 2009 would cover 79 district in the Upper East, Upper West, Northern,
Volta, Eastern and Central Regions.
Mr Dankyi announced that the income Generating projects budget for the Upper East Region is GH¢254,460 giving each district an allocation of GH¢21,000. He cautioned District Assemblies that the programme will not hesitate to withdraw support and suspend further transfer of funds for district assemblies who flouted the rules and procedures of the programme.