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19.12.2005 Regional News

Fishmongers undergo empowerment-training programme

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Elmina, Dec 19, GNA - A graduation ceremony for 120 members of the Central and Western Fishmongers Improvement Association (CEWEFIA), who underwent a five-week empowerment training programme, was held on Sunday at Elmina.

The grandaunts, drawn from Ekon, Ayisa, Bantoma and Moree, were taught time management, record keeping, leadership skills, group development, and entrepreneurship and communication skills. CEWEFIA was established in 1990 to bring fishmongers along the coast under one umbrella to promote protect their interests. The Netherlands Embassy sponsored the training programme that CEWEFIA organised in collaboration with the Central Region Development Commission (CEDECOM).

In an address Mr Spencer Taylor, head of Investment Promotion and Enterprise Development (IPED) unit of CEDECOM, advised the women to utilize the skills acquired to promote their businesses. He asked them to register with CEDECOM's micro-finance scheme to enable them qualify for financial assistance.

In a welcome address Mrs Victoria Churchill Koomson, the Executive Director of CEWEFIA, said the association, among others, aims at encouraging fishmongers to engage in improved fish processing by using energy efficient and environmental friendly fish smoking technology. It also seeks to organise fishmongers into viable groups and co-operatives to enhance their businesses.

She said since its inception the association has the association has provided pipe-borne water and bath-house, woodlot plantation, some sheds, credit facility for smoking trays, vocational training centres in some communities in the two regions.

Mr John Akowuah, the Executive Director of CEDECOM, urged other fishmongers to avail themselves of the training programme and commended CEWEFIA "for its good work" and urged all fishmongers and other target groups to join it.