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Government Committed To Economic Transformation - Minister

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Ms Hannah Tetteh, Minister for Trade and Industry has reiterated the Government's commitment towards the economic transformation of the country, especially rural settlements to address poverty.

She said, 'If Government talks about building a better Ghana, it means it' and that everything will be done to ensure that the rural economy is upgraded to catch-up with the rest of the country.

Ms Tetteh said this at Salaga in the East Gonja District in the Northern Region when she led a supervisory mission of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to inspect Rural Enterprises Project (REP) projects in the district.

The REP project known as Rural Technology Facility (RTF) in the East Gonja District seeks to contribute to poverty alleviation by increasing income, employment and productivity of rural people.

The facility, the brain child of the previous NDC government in the late 1990s, started and completed under the NPP government and is now training artisans in dress making, furniture, Batik tie and dye, soap making, blacksmithing, smock weaving, pomade making and mechanical engineering services.

Ms Tetteh said, the Government has started implementing useful policies intended to provide a more conducive environment for economic development and poverty alleviation.

She said, making poverty history is not possible without the creation of more and better jobs in the country and that a strong economy provides everyone with jobs helps the vulnerable in society to make a living and can support basic education and healthcare.

She said, self-employment also hold some of the keys to poverty reduction and stressed the need for REP projects and their assistance to supplement Government's efforts and strategy to reduce poverty through self and wage employment.

Ms Tetteh advised the entrepreneurs to take advantage of the REP programme to enable them to start and grow their own businesses, which will contribute to the spatial development of the country to reduce rural-urban migration.

Mr Mohammed Manssouri, IFAD Ghana Country Programme Manager said, IFAD is committed to supporting the Government to fight poverty to better the lives of the people.

Alhaji Shehu A. Kadiri, East Gonja District Co-ordinating Director said, the implementation of the REP programme has provided training to some 108 master craft persons and some 128 persons on how to manage small businesses whilst 34 graduated apprentices were provided with start-up kits to start their own businesses.

He said, some 1,884 people from the district also received various vocational training including shea butter production, gari processing, dress, pomade and soap making and were also trained on how to keep records on their business transaction and how to seek credit facilities to expand their businesses.

Alhaji Kadiri said, outcomes of other interventions included 540 clients who adopted new technologies, 312 new businesses established, 323 new jobs created and 113 clients have consistently recorded increasing sales due to the training they had from RTF.

Mr Kwasi Atta-Antwi, project co-ordinator of the Rural Enterprises Project said, about 157 thousand clients have benefited from REP since the commencement of its second phase in 53 districts nationwide.

He said, about GH¢ 1.4 million have be disbursed as credit by participating financial institutions to more than 3,300 enterprises and that the project have completed RTF for 12 districts to promote technology transfer and apprenticeship training.

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