Sunyani(B/A), March 17, GNA - Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister has observed that bureaucracy, costly and centralized legal and regulatory environment were the bane on Government's determination to ensure rapid socio-economic development and poverty reduction. He said others were, lack of physical infrastructure and utility services in most communities.
Mr Baffour-Awuah made the observation when addressing a day's workshop Local Economic Development (LED) attended by the 17 Municipal and District Chief Executives in the region in Sunyani. It was jointly organised by the Ministries of Trade and Industry and Local Government and Rural Development and supported by the German Technical Co-operation (GTZ). The workshop was to ensure broad consensus and agreement among the assemblies, regional coordinating councils and stakeholders on the roles and criteria to select districts that would participate in the energy project and preparatory activities necessary to establish industrial zones. Mr Baffour-Awuah said under the Rural Trade and Industry Promotion Project (RUTIPP), GTZ was collaborating with the Dutch Government to develop sustainable industrial zones in some district capitals in the region that had the potential for growth.
The Deputy Regional Minister therefore, appealed to assemblies of the pilot districts, as well as those to be selected to participate in the energy project, to enter into appropriate agreements under the project to adopt rules and regulations under LED. Giving an overview on RUTIPP, Mr Kwabena B. Owusu Sekyere, Advisor for Local and Regional Economic Development said the first phase of the Project was designed for three years (2004-2006) covering Brong-Ahafo and the Northern Regions. However, he said, stakeholders had to delay the implementation in the northern region to learn from experiences in Brong-Ahafo to inform their decisions, before its implementation by the end of 2006.
Mr Sekyere explained that the project was to develop and implement a promotion concept and a strategy for LED in rural communities to improve their economic competitiveness. He said under the project, funds would be provided to Volta River Authority (VRA) for the energy project in eight districts in Brong Ahafo region adding, "There would also be counterpart funding from the district assemblies as well as private enterprises." Mr Daniel Inkoom, Workshop Facilitator said the project would increase level of industrial activities, generate employment, widened the tax net and generate more revenue for the assemblies. The project is targeted at artisans, owners of agro-businesses and other business groups especially women entrepreneurs.