Apam (C/R), Feb. 17, GNA - A total of 19 projects estimated at 3.513 billion cedis has been executed in the Gomoa District under the first phase of the Social Investment Fund, which ended in 2004. The programme financed by the African Development Bank (ADB) also gave out loans totalling 1.3 billion cedis to the people in the area to boost their economic activities.
This was stated by Ms. Joyce Mildred Aidoo, District Chief Executive (DCE), at a workshop to prepare stakeholders for the take-off of the second phase at Apam.
Ms Aidoo appealed to the Chiefs, Assembly Members and other opinion leaders in communities that would be benefiting from projects under the Fund to mobilise resources to complete them on time, "Since SIF projects are demand driven".
In a speech read on behalf of Ms Ama Serwah Dapaah, Executive Director, she stated that the second phase of SIF, now known as the Urban Poverty Reduction Project was being funded with a loan of about 37.5 million dollars from the ADB and the Ghana government with beneficiary communities contributing 4.17 million dollars.
Ms Dapaah said the project was to be implemented in Accra, Kumasi and Sekondi-Takoradi and nine municipal areas and towns, Ho, Agogo, Akim Oda, Apam, Kasoa, Koforidua, Swedru, Tema and Wenchi. She explained that the project had been re-designated UPRP instead of the Poverty Reduction Project because "in Ghana, urbanisation was becoming counter productive expansion in an unplanned way without corresponding facilities and amenities that should go with it". "Confronted with disintegrating infrastructure, insufficient services, low revenue base and ineffective administrative institutions, Ghanaian cities and towns have not been able to nurture pro-poor growth coalitions capable of mobilising all sectors for development" the Executive Director said, adding that these were the problems UPRP was to address.
Mrs Elizabeth Abena Nkrumah, SIF Zonal Officer for the Central and Western regions, said under the UPRP, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) were to appoint Private Sector Desk Officers to handle problems of small-scale enterprises.
She noted that in Ghana it was the welfare of the vulnerable, which was given prominence with their rights relegated and stated that there was currently no government budget for female-headed households, street children and orphans who are the target under the UPRP. She said 600 small-scale enterprises would be upgraded to medium-scale under the project.
Mr Fred Oscar Abban, Presiding Member of the Gomoa District Assembly, appealed for a reduction in the 10 per cent counterpart funding by communities for SIF projects since they were unable to pay compelling Assemblies to do so for them from their limited resources.