Dr. Spio Garbrah was speaking at a conference on Rural Enterprise Programme attended by Municipal, District Chief Executives, and Coordinating Directors at Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo region.
The minister charged Municipal,
and District Chief Executives to make determined efforts to encourage youth to
engage in rural enterprises.
According to the Trade and
Industry Minister, government has provided opportunities for young people to
engage in productive businesses through the Rural Enterprises Programme (REP),
which must be assessed to stimulate economic growth.
Dr. Spio Garbrah noted that
although government has made huge investments in the Rural Enterprises
Programme, the full potentials of the programme to generate employment and to
improve the livelihoods of the rural poor micro and small-scale entrepreneurs are
yet to be fully tapped.
The Minister therefore urged the
161 participating Municipal and District assemblies to use the Business
Advisory Centers of REP to share information on several interventions that the
Government of Ghana has introduced to support unemployed graduates to enter
into the private sector for gainful employment.
He said the Youth Enterprise
Scheme (YES), EDAIF, National Board for Small Scale Industries and other public
sector enterprises which government and its development partners are funding
are providing financial support to individuals and organizations venturing into
He said it is incumbent on
Municipal and District assemblies to encourage youth in their various
assemblies to venture into micro, small, and medium enterprises to foster the
diversification of the Ghanaian economy and employment creation. He mentioned
such agro activities as oil palm extracting, cassava processing, poultry,
snail, and beekeeping as examples. He said Municipal and District Chief executives
should intermediate with traditional leaders to provide land to youth in the
districts for cultivation and start-up businesses. The Minister assured
district assemblies of the commitment of his Ministry to help assemblies
facilitate vigorously, the growth of rural MSEs to increase profit, growth, and
Dr. Spio Garbrah advised
unemployed youth particularly graduates to register businesses and to develop
project proposals in order to qualify for the many social intervention schemes
available. The Minister expressed regrets that while many lives are changing
through the Rural Enterprises Programme, graduates continue to be unconscious
of the rich potentials of engaging into private enterprises.
The National Director of the Rural Enterprises Programme, Mr Kwasi Attah-Antwi, advised district assemblies and businesses to coordinate their set objectives to align with the statutory mandates of the programmes. He noted that this would eliminate conflicts on priorities to achieve the goal of improving the livelihoods and income of rural poor micro and small entrepreneurs.
The Deputy Brong Ahafo regional
Minister, Mr. Justice Samuel Adjei in his remark appealed to beneficiaries of
REP interventions to take ownership of the programmes to reduce rural- urban
As part of his tour of the
region, the Trade and Industry Minister paid working visits to Rural Technology
Facility (RTF) centers and also small scale enterprises operating in the Brong
Ahafo region. The field visit took Dr. Spio-Garbrah and his team to the oil
palm and cassava processing in Bechem, Obiri Wood works and Nana Paul Chang
Aquaculture in Duayaw Nkwanta, and the Berekum Bee Keeping Industry.Others are
the leather works at Techiman, poultry farming at Dwomo, Cassava processing at
Wenchi, Kona cashew in Wenchi and to other SMEs in the Brong Ahafo region. He
also held general meetings with cashew growers and buyers to address concerns
in the cashew industry and met with the business community in the region.