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12.04.2005 Regional News

ASHANGO and Civil Associations present communique to Govt

By GNA

Kumasi, April 12, GNA - The Ashanti Regional Network of Non-Governmental Organisations (ASHANGO) and other civil society organisations on Tuesday organised a float through the principal streets of Kumasi as part of activities marking Global Week of Action on Trade. The weeklong celebration is under the theme: "Make Trade Work For The Poor, It Is a Human Right."

They later converged at the offices of the Ashanti Regional Co-ordinating Council and presented a communiqu=E9 to the Government through the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo. The communiqu=E9 stressed the need for the Government to review and amend the World Trade Organisation's agreements to ensure justice and fairness as one of the greatest calls to action against poverty. It urged the Government to ensure that there was adequate capacity to participate meaningfully in the negotiation at the World Trade conferences since it was a powerful force in poverty intervention. The communiqu=E9 appealed to Ghanaians not to be forced to liberalise the industrial service of the agricultural sector through trade negotiations at the World Trade Organisations and must have control over their own development.

"That, at the national front, for any sustainable poverty alleviation strategy, the Government should focus much on the development of the agricultural sector and its related infrastructure such as the construction of wells, dams and access to inputs and markets."

The communiqu=E9 also called on the Government to also target the services, which would have cumulative rise in the level of productivity. It also stressed the need for the Government to adopt multi-sectoral planning process that would incorporate both public and civil society organisations in education, gender, environment and skill training.

To curb unemployment problems and the spate of HIV/AIDS as well as allied diseases, the Government should fund basic infrastructure projects like health, education, water and sanitation to help to create employment, basic welfare and smooth economic growth, it said. It further called on the Government to review the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy document to include the tackling of hunger through addressing the causes of poverty.

Mr Boafo, who received the communiqu=E9, promised to inform the Government about it so that the necessary action would be taken. He said it was the objective of the Government to ensure good governance and to promote trade in the country.

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