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02.03.2006 Business & Finance

600 enterprises to benefit from urban poverty reduction project


Accra, March 2, GNA - More than 600 small, dynamic and growth-oriented enterprises with high employment generation potentials would receive support from a component under the Urban Poverty Reduction Project (UPRP) to upgrade them to the level of Small-Medium-Enterprise (SME).

The UPRP is the second phase of the Poverty Reduction Project, which ended in December 2004 and would be funded through an African Development Bank loan of approximately 37.5 million dollars and 4.17 million dollars contributed by the Government and beneficiaries. Mr Foster K. Boateng, a Community Development Specialist at SIF, said this at the Greater Accra District Sensitization workshop for Directors, Coordinating Directors and Assemblymen in Accra. The amount would be used to finance activities in priority areas relating to urban and semi-urban poverty reduction within the context of Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) decentralization. The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and Social Investment Fund (SIF) are the implementing agencies.

He said the project was targeting Accra, Kumasi and Sekondi-Takoradi and nine municipalities and secondary towns - Agogo, Akim Oda, Apam, Ho, Kasoa, Koforidua, Swedru, Tema and Wenchi. He said the key focus of the project management and implementation arrangements was to enable Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to effectively perform their responsibilities with regard to urban socio-economic development.

Mr Boateng said the project would be implemented under four components - capacity building for pro-poor urban development and management, social capital investment support, urban small-scale enterprise development and project management and coordination. He said the UPRP would contribute to poverty reduction by facilitating access by the poor to basic services in social infrastructure, financial intermediation with resource mobilization and capacity building for micro-finance, and decentralized governance to stimulate economic development.

Stanley Nii Adjiri-Blackson, Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, said the workshop was to inform the members of the MMDAs and other stakeholders about the objectives, components and implementation arrangements of the UPRP.

He said the Project would improve revenue mobilization mechanisms of MMDAs and the more proactive ones would be given more support.