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24.03.2004 General News

Merely reducing poverty would not promote growth -Minister

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Kumasi, March 24, GNA - Mr Allan Kyeremateng, Minister of Trade, Industry and Presidential Special Initiative (PSI), said on Wednesday that merely reducing poverty among the people would not necessarily ensure the growth required to move the country into middle-income status.

He said, consequently, government apart from pursuing vigorous infrastructure development, had embarked on comprehensive industrial reforms.

These were contained in an address read for him at the opening of a two-day workshop on the implementation of plans for sustainable livelihood projects for poor people in the Kumasi peri-urban interface. The Centre for Development of People (CEDEP) in collaboration with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the Royal Holloway University, United Kingdom, organised the workshop with funding from the British Department for International Development (DFID).

It was attended by 160 participants made up of District Chief Executives, Co-ordinating Directors and District Planning Officers drawn from Kumasi, Kwabre, Bosomtwe-Atwima-Kwanwoma and Ejisu-Juaben assemblies as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Mr Kyeremateng said under the industrial reform programme, three commercially viable projects to be known as District Enterprise Projects would be established in each of the districts of the country. He said the ministry would assist the district assemblies to draw business plans and to attract high calibre professionals to manage the projects.

Mr Kyeremateng re-affirmed that government was determined to pursue prudent monetary and fiscal policies to ensure macro-economic stability to promote investment. Mr Korsi Ashong, Programme Manager of CEDEP Community Initiative, said 12 communities in the Kumasi 'peri-urban interface' area had been selected for the implementation of the projects. Activities to be undertaken include snail and mushroom farming, grasscutter and rabbit rearing and the production of 'Alata Samina', a local antiseptic soap. He said the beneficiary groups that were linked up with community and rural banks were being assisted with start-up capital.

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