Kumasi, Feb. 20, GNA - The government has reiterated its commitment to the strengthening of the application of science and technology and the promotion of environmentally friendly practices at all levels to increase productivity, generate employment and improve the incomes of the people.
Miss Christine Churcher, Minister of Environment and Science, who stated this said her Ministry was therefore, spearheading the Rural Enterprises Project, which sought to use technical and business skills as well as viable income generating technologies, to transform the lives of rural people, especially the youth and women. She was handing over vehicles and equipment to 11 new participating districts under the Phase Two of the Rural Enterprises Project in Kumasi, on Monday.
The beneficiary districts were East Gonja, Bawku West, Nadowli, Sene, Bosomtwe-Atwima-Kwanwoma, Sefwi-Wiawso, Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai, Krachi West, Afram Plains, Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese and the Dangbe East districts.
Miss Churcher said the Rural Enterprises Project represented one of the government's development projects designed to help improve the socio-economic well being of the poor and disadvantaged rural families. She said since the inception of the second phase of the project in 2003, 27 new districts had been enrolled countrywide, adding that, 30,000 unemployed, underemployed, rural youth and disadvantaged rural women had been introduced to technical and business skills, which had helped improve their living standards. Miss Churcher advised the beneficiary districts to make judicious use of the vehicles and equipment and work hard to improve living conditions of the people.
Mr Kwasi Attah-Antwi, Co-ordinator of the Project, said the intervention of the project through its integrated package of technology transfer, business management, entrepreneurial training and credit delivery had contributed both directly and indirectly to the creation of about 12,000 new jobs.
He said over three billion cedis of credit funds had been disbursed to 583 small-scale entrepreneurs, most of them women, since the beginning of the phase two of the project in 2003.
Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister, who chaired the function, said the project was a clear manifestation of the government's resolve to fight poverty, especially in the rural communities. He advised the beneficiary districts to use the vehicles and equipment for their intended purposes to benefit the people.