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30.11.2005 Business & Finance

Rural Enterprise Project to create 110,000 jobs

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Konongo (Ash), Nov. 30, GNA - A total of 110,000 jobs are expected to be created under the Rural Enterprises Project (REP) in the next eight years.

Sixty thousand existing Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) will be strengthened within the same period.

Mr Kwasi Attah-Antwi, Project Co-ordinator of the REP, who announced this at a weeklong Clients Exhibition and Trade Show at Konongo in the Asante-Akim North District on Monday, said it was estimated that the project would result in income increases for 250,000 MSEs of whom 50 per cent were envisaged to be women.

The trade show, which had the theme: "Investing in Rural Enterprises for Employment and Wealth Creation" attracted clients from 40 districts of the 10 regions across the country.

According to Mr Attah-Antwi, the project, which is being funded by the Government of Ghana, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the African Development (ADB), was to benefit from an amount of 27.3 million dollars in the second phase, which begins next year. He said the project would provide business development and marketing services involving mainly technical and management training through district-based Business Advisory Centres (BACs). He further noted that technology promotion and support to apprenticeship training through rural technology facilities would be included in the project.

Mr Attah-Antwi said in order to promote technology transfer to the rural folks, plans were advanced to construct rural Technology Facilities (RTF) in 12 selected districts next year, adding that a large number of people had received training in several areas including production of agro-processing equipment, snail and mushroom cultivation, bee-keeping, leatherworks as well as palm and shea butter extraction. The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, commended the project for promoting economic activities in the rural areas, adding that it had contributed immensely towards poverty reduction. He urged the people to take advantage of such opportunities to acquire employable skills before sourcing for loans in order to render re-payment easier.

The Regional Minister urged the youth to avail themselves of the project and appealed to the public to patronize the products on display at the trade show.

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