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Business News of Friday, 3 June 2011

Source: GNA

Rural Enterprise Project makes impact on livelihoods - Minister

Navrongo (UE), June 3, GNA - Government's Rural Enterprise Project established to increase rural production, employment and income, has improved the livelihoods of many people, Ms Hanna Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry stated on Thursday.

"Since the establishment of the project in 1996, it has given skill training to over 60,000 people, who are into dressmaking, soap making, animal rearing, batik tie and dye and access to credit among others in sixty-six districts across the country". The Minister announced this during the annual clients' exhibition an= d trade of the Rural Enterprise Project held at Navrongo in the Upper East Region last Tuesday. She noted that under the project, many beneficiaries had set up their own businesses and employed other people who are making a living. Ms Tetteh said apart from the empowerment in the area of skill trainin= g and access to credit, the beneficiaries were also taken through training in banking and savings.

"The Rural Enterprise project also mounts an exhibition annually across the beneficiaries' districts which bring together all the small scale enterprises together to create a common platform to market their products and also learn from one another and link one another", she explained. Ms Tetteh said plans were far advanced to upscale the project from the current 66 districts to 166 under the Phase III of the project.

She indicated that Government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry was pursuing various programmes and projects to enhance the qualit= y of products, improve managerial and technical skills, reduce cost of doing businesses and to provide financial assistance to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Some of the programmes government is pursuing include Trade Sector Support Programme, World Bank Project, Ghana Private Sector Development Facility, Rural Enterprise Project, Private Sector Development Strategy II, and the Industrial Sector Support Programme, she said.

The Project Coordinator of the Rural Enterprise Project, Mr Kwasi Attah-Antwi, said the week-long exhibition brought together 200 clients from the 66 participating districts in all the ten regions of Ghana. It was to offer opportunities for the clients to establish market linkages with large firms and customers located in large towns and cities in Ghana.

"It is also expected to help to link up the clients to marketing avenues in neighbouring African countries and the choice of Navrongo as the venue for the 2011 show, would create market linkages with neighbouring Burkina Faso", Mr Attah-Antwi stressed. The 200 clients displayed products including agro processed products, agriculture and forest products, textile and garments, beads, cosmetics and detergents, leather works, pottery, and the farm implements and cocking utensils.