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10.06.2004 Business & Finance

Tap into the resources of the private sector- Minister

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Accra, June 10, GNA - Sheikh Ibrahim Codjoe Quaye, Greater Accra Regional Minister, on Thursday reiterated the need to tap the resources of the private sector to provide services for the public. He, therefore, urged District Assemblies to look at the opportunities offered by companies in the various districts and team up with them in public-private partnerships to improve on the people's standard of living.

Addressing an information dissemination workshop on: "Policy Guidelines for Public-Private Partnerships (PPP)" in Accra, Sheikh Quaye stated: "It is important we evolve ways in which both public and private sectors would co-operate in the development of the communities.

"Those of us at the lower levels of the decentralisation process have a greater responsibility in the development of our areas so that we could improve the quality of the lives of our people," Sheikh Quaye told the seminar, attended by District Chief Executives, Chiefs and District Assembly members.

The Policy Guidelines, designed by the Ministry of Private Sector Development, is currently awaiting Cabinet approval. The Guidelines were drafted after stakeholders' workshops, attended by Ministries, Departments and Agencies, non-governmental organisations and Development Partners.

On approval, it would guide the public and the private sectors in the initiation, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of public private partnerships in Ghana.

It would also streamline the use of PPP as one of instruments for accelerated development within the larger context of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy.

public service was constrained by the lack of flexibility to raise funds for capital investment, and also did not have adequate managerial and technical skills.

This is against the critical need to provide public services at the district level where there are scarce resources, he said. Sheikh Quaye said PPP was one sure way out to improve on the lives of the people, citing a number of countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, Canada and South Africa, where he said, the concept had been used extensively for the provision of public services from the 1980s.

He urged the participants to use the workshop as a springboard to identify projects for future collaboration. Mr Fats Teye Nartey, Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Director, who chaired the seminar, said the Accra Metropolis would need 10 more markets to decongest the city.

Mr Nartey asked investors to take advantage of provisions in the Policy and team up with the Government to develop the markets and other infrastructure for social services. Mr David Ofosu-Dorte, Executive Director of General Law Consult, who led the discussions, said politicians must also be educated on the guidelines to get them to better commit themselves to the Policy.