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05.05.2004 Regional News

Government to disburse micro loans soon

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Sekondi May 4, GNA - Government would through the Social Investment Fund (SIF) disburse micro loans to selected groups of fishermen, farmers, agro-processors, and artisans among others through out the country.

Mrs Elizabeth Abena Nkrumah, Western Regional Officer of SIF, who announced this, said rural banks in Jomoro, Lower Pra, Amenfiman, Upper Amenfi, Kaaseman, Bia Torya and Ahantaman have been selected for the programme in the region.

She was speaking at a forum organised by the Regional Secretariat of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) for fishermen as part of activities to mark this year's annual national constitution week at Sekondi on Tuesday.

The theme of the forum was "Enhancing Tolerance Through Poverty Reduction in Fishing Communities in Ghana".

Mrs Nkrumah said the beneficiary districts in the region would be provided with 15 million cedis each to finance the preparation of poverty maps and pro-poor programmes for Government's Poverty Reduction Programme.

She said the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) was financing the project with the National Development Planning Commission and SIF playing the supervisory role.

Mrs Nkrumah said the SIF was undertaking 100 sub-projects on education, health and environment, water, agriculture and micro enterprise, skills development and building roads from the farm gate to marketing centres in the region.

She said the total cost of the projects is 17.5 billion cedis and so far, about 8.3 billion cedis had been disbursed adding that the projects were aimed wealth creation to reduce poverty.

Mr Kwaku Baa-Owusu, Regional Director of NCCE, advised fishermen to take advantage of the government's poverty reduction programme to improve their businesses and living conditions.

He urged them to cultivate saving habit and invest in the education of their children, saying, children should be given sound education before introducing them to fishing.

Mr Baa-Owusu asked the fishermen to abreast with the provisions of the 1992 Constitution so that they could contribute to the democracy and development.

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