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19.04.2004 Business & Finance

Revenue projections should not be criteria for locating EU projects

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Ho, April 19, GNA - Dr Klaus-Dieter Gautsch, Advisor on European Union (EU) Micro Projects on Monday said revenue projections of district assemblies should not be the criteria for locating EU projects. He said the assemblies should not overrule the needs of communities as was the case in the building of some markets, in previous phases of the EU-Micro-Projects.

Dr Gautsch was speaking at a two-day Second Formulation Workshop for the 6th EU Micro-Projects Programme in Ho, attended by representatives of stakeholders from the Ministries and Departments, District Assemblies and organisations in rural development.

He said under the 6th Micro-Projects Programme, which would begin in the second quarter of 2005, 25 million Euros, approximately 250 billion cedis would be expended on infrastructure such as schools, sanitation facilities, clinics nurses quarters among others to improve the quality of life of the rural folks.

Dr Gautsch said the 6th EU Micro-Projects would be executed "in a tighter frame with new rules" and would have no extensions as requested in the 5th EU-Micro-Projects.

Ms Florence Oku, Acting National Authorisation Officer, at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, described the package as a central element in European Union Socio-economic cooperation with Ghana from 1990 with a total commitment over the years of about 50.1 million euros. She said six core regions, Northern, Upper-East and West, Central, Volta and Eastern would benefit from Micro-Projects under the phase, whilst four other non-core regions would benefit from Individual Limited Intervention Programmes (ILIPs).

Ms Oku said the projects were directly linked to government's policy of accelerated growth through poverty reduction and eventual wealth creation as enshrined in the Ghana poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS).

She said Ghana had benefited from five successive Micro Projects Programmes and "altogether, 1,950 projects were expected to be delivered under the 5th Programme, expected to be completed by June 2005". Mr Kwasi Owusu-Yeboa, Volta Regional Minister, who opened the workshop also underscored the need for projects to be selected with the participation of the intended communities to ensure that only projects, which were genuinely and urgently needed by the people for their social and economic progress were undertaken.

He said the programme placed a special responsibility on District Chief Executives (DCEs) and other project implementation agencies who would be expected to provide the necessary guidance, support and supervision for a smooth take-off and successful completion of projects.

Mr Robert Buatsi, Volta Regional Coordinator of the EU Projects said the workshop was to solicit and collate views, ideas, and opinions from stakeholders in order to develop "a Financial Proposal, which to a very large extent is the Programme Design Document".

Communities selected for EU-Micro-Projects provide as show of commitment some form of support, including communal labour.