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02.04.2004 Regional News

Involve stakeholders in poverty eradication programmes-Edumadze

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Elmina (C/R), April 1, GNA- The Central Regional Minister, Mr Isaac Edumadze on Thursday called on district assemblies to involve stakeholders in the planning and budgeting process of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS). He said this would ensure accelerated development of the districts in the region. He further urged them to facilitate the development programmes and projects that reflected the needs and aspirations of the people. Mr Edumadze said this in a speech read for him at the opening of a two-day 'awareness creation workshop on district planning and budgeting' for district chief executives and their co-ordinating directors from the central, western and greater Accra regions.

The workshop, which is jointly organised by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), is geared towards sensitising decision-makers at the district levels in planning and budgeting to ensure enhanced implementation of the GPRS.

The Regional Minister reminded them that the GPRS was Ghana's development framework and has prioritised areas such as infrastructure, modernised agriculture and rural development, enhanced social service and good governance and private sector development in the medium-term. He advised the participants to take the workshop seriously and plan and budget towards meeting the targets of the GPRS and the global millennium development wit due regards to local priorities.

Dr Clemens Anyomi, director, external resources mobilization division of the Ministry of Finance, said the problem faced by the assemblies in planning and budgeting, such as financial limitations and inadequate personnel and data, was a concern to the ministry. He urged them to embark on "community driven development programmes", as well as strengthen structures at the community levels, to facilitate the requisite support from beneficiary communities in their implementation. He called for close cooperation between the district assemblies and the ministry since they have a shared responsibility in the implementation of the GPRS.

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