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11.10.2005 Regional News

Rural Banks should support small-scale industries

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Mampong (Ash), Oct 11, GNA - Mr Haruna Oppong-Boateng the Sekyere West District Chief Executive (DCE), on Monday urged Rural Banks to support promising Small-Scale businesses to expand and create employment for the youth.

He said rural and community banks must look beyond their traditional roles and find innovative ways of assisting small-scale entrepreneurs in their catchment areas to reduce rural poverty. Mr. Poong-Boateng stated this when he delivered the keynote address at the opening of a five-day trade exhibition of locally made products at Mampong-Ashanti.

The Mini Trade Fair is being organised by the Sekyere West District Assembly and the National Board for Small-Scale Industries (NBSSI) to showcase handicrafts of the Rural Enterprises (REP) in the area. The DCE said the District Assembly has released 28 million cedis out of its share of the poverty alleviation funds to support trainees of the District Business Advisory Centre (BAC) to set up their own businesses.

Mr. Oppong-Boateng said the Assembly would continue to support the Skills Training and Employment Programme (STEP) of the Manpower and Youth Employment Ministry to succeed in the area. He advised the exhibitors to strive for high quality products that are well packaged and competitively priced to attract customers. The regional manager of the NBSSI, Mr Saeed Brobeey, in a speech read for him, said the District level fairs were to create awareness for locally made products.

Besides, he said the aim was also to boost internal trade and provide a platform for small-scale entrepreneurs to share ideas. Mr Brobbey noted that small businesses have an important role to play in promoting rapid industrial development, pointing out that the NBSSI would continue to offer them the needed assistance. The Paramount Chief of the Mampong Traditional Area, Daasebre Osei Bonsu, II, who chaired the function, called for closer collaboration between District Assemblies and traditional authorities to ensure rapid socio-economic development.

On display at the fair were traditional handicrafts including textiles, beads, and footwear, products, wood and leather products.