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09.01.2006 Regional News

Government urged to redirect youth employment focus

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Kumasi, Jan 09, GNA - The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) on Monday appealed to the government to redirect its youth mass employment programme and focus on measures that will entice the youth to go into farming. Mr Thomas Bello, the Ashanti Regional Chairman of AGI, said there was the need for the government to encourage majority of the youth to go into farming to produce raw materials to feed the local industries. He was speaking at a meeting of the regional executive of the AGI with Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister, in his office.

The meeting was for the executive to discuss with the minister some of the pertinent challenges facing members of the association in the region. Mr Bello said most industries were not able to produce to their capacity due to lack of raw materials. He also expressed concern about the influx of cheap and inferior goods into the Ghanaian market, which was undermining the efforts of local manufacturers and appealed to the government to tighten security at the country's borders to check smuggling. Mr Bello identified lack of capital, machines and equipment as some of the challenges facing industry and appealed to the government to assist members of the association to expand their businesses.

Mr Boafo appealed to the members of the association to merge and takeover some of the big companies that had been placed on the divestiture in order to expand their operations. He said the government was committed to the growth of the private sector and would therefore do all in its power to address some of the challenges facing them. Mr Boafo also advised them to modernise their operations in order for them to stay in business.