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Politics of Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Source: GNA

MDAs in three northern regions schooled on REP

The Rural Enterprises Programme (REP) on Wednesday held a sensitisation workshop for Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) in the three northern regions on the implementation arrangements of the Programme and conditions for enrolment.

The objective of the workshop, which was attended by Municipal and District Chief Executives and District Coordinating Directors, was to inform and create awareness on the effectiveness of the REP for the leadership of the MDAs that did not participate in the REP phases one and two, which had been under implementation since 1995.

The implementation of the phases one and two of the REP covered 66 districts, and the government is now rolling out phase three to cover more districts to bring the total number of participating districts to 161.

Ms Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry who opened the workshop in Tamale spelt out the conditions for enrolling onto the programme and called on the MDAs to take advantage of it to create a better Ghana.

REP is an initiative by the government aimed at lifting individuals and households out of poverty; jointly funded by the government, International Fund for Agricultural Development and the African Development Bank .

Its objective is to increase the number of rural micro and small enterprises that generate profit, growth and employment opportunities in participating MDAs.

The REP will mainstream the promotion of Medium Skill Enterprise (MSE) into existing public and private institutions, and it is expected to benefit 200,000 clients including at least 100,000 women which would facilitate the establishment of 36,000 new businesses and strengthen 70,000 businesses and generate 100,000 jobs.

Ms Tetteh stressed that REP was demand-driven, adding that only MDAs that showed commitment would be selected to participate.

She called on the MDAs to demonstrate readiness and ability to implement the programme to facilitate their selection.

She said owing to decentralisation, there was need to create a department of trade and industry at districts to liaise with the Ministry of Trade and Industry for support and other business related activities.

Mr Moses Bukari Mabengba, Northern Regional Minister, whose speech was read on his behalf, said REP was a channel that the districts could use to better the lives of the people.

He said “As part of implementation of the Programme, the Regional Coordination Council would provide backstopping to the districts through the Regional Committee on MSE Promotion” to ensure that the new districts participated effectively to improve the livelihood of the people.

Mr Kwasi Attah-Antwi, National Programme Director of REP said the workshop was second of three, planned to cover the entire country adding, the success stories of the Programme was dependent on the acceptability, leadership, ownership and commitment shown by beneficiary districts.

Mr Attah-Antwi, therefore, appealed to the beneficiaries to maintain the same motivation and commitment to enable them to have the full benefit of the REP.**