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28.04.2004 Business & Finance

29.2 million dollars for phase II of Rural Enterprise Project (REP)

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Salaga (N/R) April 28, GNA- More than 29.2 million US dollars is to be invested in the implementation of phase two of Rural Enterprise Project (REP) in 10 selected districts through out the country.

The projects were being co-financed by the Government of Ghana with direct counterpart funding from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the African Development Bank and other stakeholders. The districts are East Gonja in the Northern Region, Setwi Wiaso and Bibiani- Anwhiaso-Bekwai in the Western Region, Bawku in the Upper East Region, Nadowli in the Upper West Region.

The rest are Bosumtwi-Atwima-Kwanwoma in the Ashanti Region, Afram Plain in the East Region, Keta Krachi in the Volta Region, Dangbe East in the Greater Region and Sene in the Brong Ahafo Region.

Mr Kwasi Atta-Antwi, project Co-ordinator of REP announced this at a day's start-up workshop on the REP organised by Ministry of Environment and Science at Salaga on Tuesday.

He said the project was demand-driven and as such the project Coordination and Management Unit would only provide support commensurate with the efforts of the District Assemblies.

He warned that the project would not hesitate to withdraw from districts that do not show commitment.

Mr. Dari Bismarck Harouna, East Gonja District Chief Executive reiterated government's commitment to making the private sector the engine of growth.

He said even though the sector had the potential to lead the economy, it would need to be well-organised and supported to enable it to deliver.

He said it was in this regard that the government was putting in place structures such as the REP to revamp the private sector, which was neglected over the years by previous governments.

The District Chief Executive urged the unemployed youth and rural women to take advantage of it to improve their living standards.

Mr Harouna said the REP would add value to the processing of gari, shea nut and the manufacturing of batik tie and dye in factories established in some of the districts under the Presidents Special Initiative.

Mr Ernest Debrah, Northern Regional Minister, in an address read for him, appealed to the project managers to accelerate the pace of the project entry into all the rural districts of the three northern regions in view of the level of poverty and deprivation in almost all the communities.

He commended the REP for its innovative concepts of establishing District Implementation Committees (DIC) within the district assemblies to ensure participatory planning and monitoring of its projects, as well as bring on board all stakeholders into the district development plan. Mr Debrah appealed to the assembly to endeavour to meet all its obligations under the projects as set out in the Memorandum of Understanding to ensure maximum benefits from the initiative.

The Regional Minister however, called on the people to be cooperative and peace lovers in order to attract investors, adding, "we cannot be craving for development while as at the same time provoking conflicts for political, ethnic or whatever reasons."

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