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General News of Monday, 11 February 2008

Source: GNA

Ministry assists cocoa producing districts to eliminate child labour

Accra, Feb. 11, GNA - The Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment on Monday presented computers, accessories and motorbikes to 11 cocoa producing districts to assist in the elimination of child labour.

The items comprised 14 LP laser jet monitors, UPS and printers and 13 motorbikes valued at over 54,000 Ghana cedis.

Mrs Frema Osei-Opare, Deputy Minister of Manpower, Youth and Employment presenting the items, said they were among efforts by the Ministry through its National Programme on the Worse Forms of Child Labour to eliminate the practice in all sectors of the economy. She said following international concerns on the use of children for cocoa production and its impact on the commodity in the international market, the Ministry was working closely with district assemblies in all six cocoa producing regions to reverse the trend. Mrs Osei-Opare said a survey conducted by the Ministry indicated that only nine per cent of the children said to be in child labour in cocoa producing areas were not in school.

She said 91 per cent assisted their parents on their farms in a manner that did not affect their education or health. The Deputy Minister said regardless of the findings from the survey, the Ministry was not happy with the number of children out of school and was working in collaboration with development partners such as the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and other non-governmental organisations to eliminate the practice.

The Ministry, she said, would in addition, fashion out action plans, implement pro-child activities and continue to support district assemblies to implement interventions at the grassroots. Mrs Osei-Opare commended the district assemblies for their efforts and was optimistic the computers would help enhance data collection on child labour.

Mr Antwi Boasiako Brobbey, Atwima Mponua District Coordinating Director who received the items on behalf of the beneficiaries expressed appreciation to the Ministry.

He pledged their commitment to work hard to enable government achieve its objectives of human resource development under the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) by ensuring that all the children enrolled in school.

The beneficiary districts from Ashanti Region were Asante Akyem North, Asante Akyem South, Amansie West, Amansie Central and Atwima Mponua.

Kwaebibirim and Suhum Kraboa Coaltar districts from Eastern Region and Aowin Suaman, Sefwi Wiawso, Bia and Wassa Amenfi Districts from the Western Region.

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