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07.06.2005 Regional News

Assemblies asked to spearhead Rural Enterprise Projects


Koforidua, June 7, GNA - Madam Marian Sissoko, the visiting Director of the United Nations Office of Project Supervision (UNOPS), for West and Central Africa, has expressed the need to support local entrepreneurs to help eradicate poverty.

She was emphatic on the need to assist beneficiaries of the Rural Enterprise Project (REP), to execute their income generating activities effectively in order to raise their standard of living. Madam Sissoko was addressing the opening session of a two-day orientation seminar for three new District Implementation Committees of the REP for the Koforidua Zone in Koforidua on Monday. The districts include Fanteakwa, Nkwanta and Assin Fosu in the Eastern, Volta and Central regions.

The over 30-million-dollar project is being funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the African Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Ghana. The first phase of the eight-year project covering 13 districts ended in 2002. It was expanded to cover 53 new districts in 2003. It had the objective of reducing poverty and improve on the living conditions of the rural people, especially the incomes of women and vulnerable groups through increased self-and-wage-employment. Madam Sissoko, who is on a two-week inspection tour of REP activities in the country, explained that the UNOPS would want to ensure that funds allocated for projects were effectively utilised. She said the Dakar-based office was currently supervising 38 projects in West and Central Africa.

The National Project Coordinator, Mr Kwasi Attah-Antwi, said the Koforidua Zonal Office, which is in-charge of the Central, Greater Accra, Eastern and Volta Regions, had, between January and May, this year, set up four Business Advisory Centres in four districts and trained and reached out to 1,842 Medium/Small Scale Enterprises. The operators were trained in soap making, batik, tie-and-dye, and leather works and business management.

The Koforidua Zonal Coordinator, Mr Kwasi Amankwaah, called on the about 50 participants to use the opportunity afforded them to sensitise their people on the numerous opportunities under the REP. 7 June 05