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06.02.2005 General News

Four organisations sign MOU on poverty

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Accra, Feb. 6, GNA - Four business organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to help reduce poverty domestically and improve on capacity of their institutions.

The institutions are SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, Ghana Micro Finance Institution (Ghamfin), Empretec Ghana Foundation and Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF).

Under the MOU, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation would provide services in capacity building, strengthen local institutions and business advisory services.

Other areas of support include, access to finance for, small and medium scale enterprises, product development and promotion of an enabling environment for the private sector.

Mr Worku Behonegne, the Country Director SNV Netherlands Development Organisation said during the signing ceremony on Saturday that the MOU would help them forge alliance to develop strategic programmes. He applauded the action-oriented strategies of the organisations to remove constraint in the private sector.

The Country Director said, "Poverty can be reduced and alleviated in Ghana and in Africa, if partners make a conscious effort to take action and responsibility.

"SNV welcomes strategic partners and believes in joining forces with key partners in the fight against poverty through sharing of expertise, knowledge, cost and mobilisation of resources to achieve common goals." Dr Boeh-Ocansey, Director General of PEF called for fruitful long-term relationship with the other partners in the country. Mr Martin Eson-Benjamin, Chief Executive Officer, Empretec Foundation pledged his organisation's support and commitment to work to ensure that there was a real paradigm shift in the approach towards poverty reduction.

Mr Francis Bienpuo, Chairman of Ghamfin Board described the signing of the MOU as timely, saying it has come at a time when the UN has declared 2005 as the International Year of Micro-Finance. Among those present at the ceremony were SNV Portfolio Coordinator, Mr Franklin Asamoah-Mensah, and Maureen Erekua Odoi, Private Sector Development Advisor.

The collaboration with the other partners is seen in line with SNV's Private Sector Development (PSD) Strategy of Market Access for the Poor (MAFTP), and its focus was on supporting the selected market chains with the potential to create employment and generate higher incomes. Other benefits to be derived include, harnessing the export potential in both the sub-region and international market. SNV has already developed similar local partners under the PSD advisory practice.

These include, Fidelity Capital Partners, National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Association of Ghana Industries, Federation of Ghanaian Exporters (FAGE), Hopespring Foundation and the Ministry of Trade and Industry/Industry Enterprises Development Programme (MOTI/REDP)

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