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01.08.2005 Regional News

DANIDA sponsoring advocacy programme in three regions

GNA

Dormaa-Ahenkro (B/A), Aug 1, GNA- Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) has released three million dollars for a two-year pilot advocacy programme for business associations, labour unions and the media in three regions of the country. The fund, known as the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund has since August 2004, been operating in the Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo and Greater Accra Regions and would last till June, 2006. Mr Michael Mensah, senior advocacy consultant for the Centre for the Empowerment of the Vulnerable (CEV), the intermediary non-governmental organisation (NGO) for the fund in Brong-Ahafo, said these in a briefing to representatives of prospective beneficiary groups at Dormaa-Ahenkro.

He noted that petty problems, which could have been resolved through advocacy had remained the bane of businesses in the country, and unless entrepreneurs supported efforts aimed at getting rid of such problems, their businesses would collapse. Mr Mensah said some entrepreneurs adopted the trial and error approach in solving problems, ignoring basic issues that could enhance their businesses.

He said: "Businesses wishing to access the fund will bear 10 per cent of all expenses, while the fund will take the remaining 90 percent".

Mr Mensah said recognized business ventures could apply up to 900 million cedis from the fund, depending on their numerical strength and whether they had a third of the amount they would apply for in their bank accounts.

He urged businesses in the beneficiary regions, who have up to the middle of August to complete documents in order to access the facility, to do so in time to avail themselves the opportunity to remove basic problems dragging their businesses. 1 Aug 5

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