The government, under the Rural Enterprises Development Programme (REDP), will establish at least 330 commercially viable industries throughout the country.
The industries expected to be completed within the next three to five years would be based on the natural resource endowment in each District. The Minister for Trade Industry and Presidential Special Initiative (PSI), Mr Alan Kyerematen announced this at the weekend when he opened a 10-day cultural fair as part of activities for the “Adae Kese” festival.
He explained that the government's development agenda was the mainstreaming of the rural communities and economies in national development. It was in pursuance of this that he said the government was determined to actively support each of the 110 Districts to establish at least three viable industries within the next five years.
Mr Kyerematen observed that upon the completion of the industries, “this will completely transform the economic landscape of rural communities, create many employment opportunities, increase rural incomes, facilitate the development of infrastructure in rural areas and stem the tide of rural-urban drift”.
He also touched on the various PSI's on cassava starch, oil palm, garments and textiles, salt, cotton, groundnut and explained that they were designed to create wealth in the rural communities and economically empower the people.
To that end, he noted that traditional rulers had a crucial role to play in the success of the PSI's not only by mobilizing the communities to take advantage of them but also facilitate access to land which could be used as equity for acquiring shares in any of these new commercial ventures.
He further noted that culture played a vital role in the development of the nation and for that matter, conscious efforts must be made to preserve and promote it. “There is the need therefore, to foster closer linkage between culture and development, in our effort to ensure sustainable economic livelihood”, he stressed.
Mr S.K. Boafo Ashanti Regional Minister, calling on the traditional rulers to assess cultural practices that tended to impede progress advised that their development plans should create equal opportunities for harnessing the potentials of the totality of their population irrespective of sex.