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Government assure SMEs in northern region of its support to improve their businesses


The Minister of Trade and Industry Hanna Tetteh is urging Small Scale and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) in the country to demonstrate commitment and willingness towards their businesses.  She said government was committed to supporting the SMEs as part of efforts to encouraging private sector contribution in Ghana’s economy.
Madam Hanna Tetteh said the ministry has instituted a programme dubbed “Business Development Services” to provide training and support to enable people who want to start businesses at the district level.
The Minister said this at a day’s Rural Enterprise Programme (REP) Zonal Start-up workshop to launch the third phase of REP for Upper East, Upper West and Northern region in Tamale. She urged SMEs to take advantage of REP programme to participate in the growth of their respective districts economy.
The REP, since its inception in 1995 as pilot bases had up-scale to 13 and 66 by 2011 to provide job opportunities towards poverty reduction in the beneficiary districts. The third phase of the programme is expected to cover 161 Municipal, Metropolitan and District Assemblies (MMDAs) nationwide.
This, the minister said is a clear demonstration of government commitment towards improving small scale businesses in the country. Madam Hanna Tetteh encouraged SMEs to take advantage of the third phase of REP to enhance their business activities.
She disclosed that her outfit in partnership with REP has put in place a programme called Business Advisory Centre to enable people with skills and want to establish their own businesses in the various MMDAs to access its services.
The National Programme Director of REP, Kwasi Atta-Antwi who presented the overview of the explained that the workshop was to  inform and create awareness on the effectiveness of REP for leadership of MMDAs who did not have opportunity to participate in phase one and two since the beginning of programme.
The main objectives of the programme were to improved livelihoods, incomes and increase the number of rural Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) that generate profit, growth and employment opportunities for rural people.
Mr Antwi said the third phase would be concentrated on access to business development services, transfer of technology, technical skills training and demonstrations and access to rural MSEs finance.
The Northern Regional Minister Moses Bukari Mabengba in his welcome address urged the beneficiary MMDAs to embrace it  and take full advantage of the opportunity.
Mr Mabengba further entreated all the new districts, especially those in the three northern regions and expressed the hope that it would poverty level among the rural folk. 
A total of 185 million dollars is expected to be used on the project with government of Ghana providing 83.5 million US dollars while the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) contributes 31.5 million dollars and African Development Bank (AFDB) also providing 70 million dollars.
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