Monday, August 6, 2012
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Joseph Samuel Annan, said the Government of Ghana would continue to assist the micro and small-scale sector until it was fully developed. This he said was because the sector is the engine of growth of every nation and must therefore be supported to harness its potentials and helped to generate more jobs for poverty reduction.
He said posterity would not forgive the present generation if it failed to provide meaningful livelihoods for its people and called on the youth as well as the unemployed to avail themselves of such opportunities to learn trades. Dr. Annan, who is also the Member of Parliament for KEEA, asked the beneficiaries to be more studious and to learn new methods of plying their various trades to keep them in business and also ensure that the tools were kept in good conditions to prolong their lifespan.
The Financial Controller of REP, Mr. Charles Mensah, said the provision of the equipment by the Programme was to support young people, who have undergone apprenticeship training but are unable to set up their own businesses, to do so. Mr. Mensah therefore urged the beneficiaries to ensure that the businesses were set-up in their areas. He mentioned that the beneficiaries are also expected to train more people in their various communities to help improve the local economy and living conditions.
The Chief of Abrem-Agona , Nana Terpo V, praised the Ministry of Trade and Industry and REP for the support. He explained that the equipment would help keep the youth in business and stop them from idling about.
To qualify for enrolment into REP, prospective districts must do the following: provide at least two room furnished office accommodation for the establishment of an implementing unit; and recruit at people with local knowledge to work at the implementing units. They should also establish a Sub Committee on MSE promotion to coordinate all initiatives on the development and growth of enterprises in the district; and be prepared to meet part of the recurrent cost of the from the second year of enrollment.
Saturday, August 4, 2012
The Government of Ghana has launched the Rural Enterprises Programme in Mankessim, in the Mfantseman Municipality of the Central Region, to promote micro and small-scale enterprises (MSE) development in the country. The President of the Republic of Ghana (then Vice President), John Mahama, launched the Programme. REP seeks to upscale and mainstream the district-based MSE support system, piloted by the Rural Enterprises Project Phases I & II (REP-I & II, within public and private institutional systems. The Government of Ghana, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) are financing the US$185 million Programme.
About 600,000 rural poor MSEs in some 161 municipalities and districts nationwide would receive various forms of support under REP from 2012-2020. It would also establish about 36,000 new businesses and strengthen 70,000 existing ones to generate profit, growth and employment opportunities. REP would pay particular attention to vulnerable groups including rural women and the youth through youth and gender action plans. This way, REP would attract the youth into MSEs and value chain opportunities in order to face the challenges of unemployment and underemployment.
Speaking at a colourful ceremony to launch the Programme, H.E. Mr. John Mahama appealed to the youth to show interest in REP and take advantage of the opportunities it offers to better their living conditions. He particularly urged junior high school graduate, who could not continue their formal education, to avail themselves for training in employable skills under REP. He acknowledged the contribution of REP-I& II, since 1995, in developing the MSE sector – a sector whose contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product could not be ignored.
Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon. Hanna Tetteh, said that the Programme forms part of Government's efforts to reduce poverty and improve the living conditions in the rural areas. She therefore charged municipal and district assemblies (MDAs) to collaborate with REP in their districts to alleviate the plight of the rural poor. Ms Tetteh said REP was a demand-driven initiative, as such beneficiary MDAs would be expected to provide offices, personnel, and provide counter-part funds to run the programme’s activities in the districts.
She mentioned that a Department of Trade and Industry (DOTI) is to be established in all districts to promote industrialisation at the district level and build the capacities of MSEs to make them competitive. She also announced the construction of an ultramodern Rural Technology Facility (RTF) workshop in Mankessim to provide technical training and improved technology for MSEs.
Central Regional Minister, Hon. Ama Benyiwa-Doe, said the surest way to create wealth and reduce poverty is through empowering the people with skills and knowledge to make them productive and economically independent. She therefore appealed to the youth to take advantage of the Programme and go into self-initiated businesses, adding that “this will contribute to the development of the country and tone down the incidence of rural-urban migration.”
The Resident Representative of the AfDB, Mrs Marie Laure Akin-Olugbade, said her outfit got involved in the REP –II with the objective of slowing rural-urban drift, contributing to sustainable job creation and disseminating appropriate technologies. She assured the gathering that the Bank was prepared to take part in the implementation of REP and support the Government of Ghana in promoting the development of entrepreneurship.
National Programme Director of the REP, Mr Kwasi Attah-Antwi, said the programme would provide business development services to MSEs , transfer technical skills, disseminate technologies and give financial support to MSEs for the development of pro-poor institutions and policies.
The Omanhene of Mankessim, Osagyefo Amanfo-Adu VI, commended the Government and donor partners for establishing a Rural Technology Facility in the area to create jobs for the youth. Osagyefo Amanfo-Adu asked Ghanaians to patronize goods produced by beneficiaries of the REP to sustain the programme’s intervention.
The occasion was also used to inaugurate the Mankessim Rural Technology Facility. Thirty eight (38) individuals, who had been trained in hairdressing, dressmaking, leatherworks, radio mechanics, motor vehicle mechanics, electrical and vulcanising were presented with start-up kits to start their own businesses. A 4-day tradeshow and exhibition was mounted to display various products made by clients of REP-I& II.