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09.01.2006 Business & Finance

WB supports devt of MME

By GNA

Accra, Jan. 9, GNA - The World Bank Board of Directors has approved a credit of 45 million dollars to support the implementation of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) project in Ghana. A release issued on Monday by the World Bank said the project was part of a broader poverty reduction and private sector development strategy for the country. The World Bank Board approved the credit last Thursday.

The release noted that most businesses in Ghana, which fell within the category of MSME, had suffered a great deal over the last decade resulting in the shifting of focus from entrepreneurship to a proliferation of petty trading nationwide. The project, therefore, aims to invigorate entrepreneurial activities at all levels, thereby promoting growth, employment generation and reducing poverty levels. It also seeks to build an integrated market access and trade facilitation infrastructure while proactively inculcating competitiveness among enterprises. The project is also expected to develop and strengthen, on a sustainable basis, the capacity of local intermediaries to deliver financial and non-financial services to MSMEs and ensure that they make productive use of these services.

Most businesses in Ghana fall within the category of micro, small and medium enterprises, and with an employment capacity of close to 70 per cent of the Ghanaian labour force. They range from farming, agri-businesses, light manufacturing, art and craft, textile and garments, tourism, financial services, construction business and carpentry, among many other businesses. Mr Mats Karlsson, the World Bank's Country Director, said: "Growth and employment in Ghana are directly linked to the growth of MSMEs. I hope that with this project, Ghanaian banks will be more able to link up to Ghanaian businesses for more investment and private sector jobs. For the World Bank Group, this is the future."

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