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04.04.2006 Business & Finance

Sixth European Union Micro Project launched


Wa, April 04, GNA - Metropolitan, Municipal and District assemblies that excel in the implementation of development projects would be rewarded, while non-performing ones would be penalised through reduction in the number of projects allocated to them.

Mr Kwadwo Baah Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning who announced this on Tuesday therefore, appealed to Ministries, Regional Coordinating Councils and assemblies to make sure projects provided under the European Union Micro Projects programme were supported with the required logistics to facilitate their effective and efficient implementation.

Mr Baah-Wiredu made the appeal in an address read on his behalf at the launching of the European Union/Government of Ghana Sixth Micro Projects Programme at Wa in the Upper West Region. Due to the high level of poverty, Upper East, Upper West, Northern, Eastern, Central and Volta Regions, are core beneficiaries of the Programme financed by the European Development Fund (EDF) at 25 million Euros.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said with the high rate of poverty prevailing in the rural communities, Government would continue to address rural poverty by prioritising the provision of rural infrastructure, agro-based industries and effective decentralisation.

He said to complement Government's efforts at poverty reduction, the EU under its Country Strategy Paper/National Indicative Programme (CSP/NIP) had released 311 Euros to support Ghana's Development agenda. Since the inception of the EU Micro Project interventions in 1990, the EDF had spent about 50.1 million Euros on 3,700 micro projects throughout the country.

Mr Baah-Wiredu urged beneficiary communities that would begin in June this year, to support by providing their 25 per cent contribution in the form of labour and other inputs to ensure the projects were completed on schedule.

Mr Ambrose Dery, Upper West Regional Minister said since the region was included in the programme in 1997, it had benefited from about 145 projects estimated at about 11.2 billion cedis.

He called on the assemblies to develop maintenance plans for all projects being undertaken including the EU Micro Projects. "It is common in this country to hear people bemoaning the lack of maintenance culture in our life yet very little is done to change this culture," He added.

Mr Dery asked District Chief Executives in the region to live up to expectation and their roles as leaders in the planning, implementation and monitoring of EU Micro projects in their districts and ensure the people participated in their implementation.

He noted that in some districts some schedule officers had made the projects their personal properties.

"Development is a shared responsibility it is therefore, important for everyone as Local Government workers to recognise our responsibilities within the legal and policy framework under which we are working," He added. 04 April 06