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08.12.2005 Regional News

NGOs asked to participate in government policy initiatives

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Koforidua, Dec. 8, GNA - The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Yaw Barimah has called on non-governmental organisations and civil society groups to actively participate in discussions and take advantage of government programmes that have a direct bearing on the improvement of the lives of the people.

He mentioned some of such programmes as the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS), the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the President's Special Initiatives' (PSIs) agriculture component. The call was contained in a keynote address read on his behalf at the opening of the Bi-annual General Assembly of the Ecumenical Association for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (ECASARD) at Koforidua on Thursday.

The theme of the four-day meeting was: "Increasing agricultural production and promoting livelihoods of small-scale farmers and operators".

The ECASARD had a network of 163 agricultural-based groupings operating in the seven southern regions and promoting economically viable, socially just and ecologically sound technologies in farming and income-generating activities.

Mr Barimah noted that the participation of such varied socio-economic groupings in the PSI would go a long way in contributing towards their successful implementation for poverty reduction and national development.

The Counsellor for Development Co-operation at the German Embassy, Mr Joachim Schmitt, urged the ECASARD and other civil society groups to re-position their programmes so as to benefit from German-Ghana bilateral co-operation agreements such as the GPRS and the MDG. According to him, the three main bilateral agreements currently under focus were in agricultural, employment generation through micro-credits and good governance and decentralization programmes.

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