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Government to compel banks to further reduce interest rates

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Fiifi Kwetey

Government will continue to implement policies to compel local financial institutions to reduce their lending rates (interest rates), Mr Franklin Fiifi Kwetey, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning has assured.

He said the reduction of interest rates would make funds available and affordable to entrepreneurs and investors to expand their businesses.

Mr Kwetey, therefore, tasked the youth to be creative and generate ideas that would make them self-employed and independent rather than seeking to be employees of other people.

He was speaking at awards and graduation ceremony of 38 finalists to this year’s “Believe Begin Become” (BBB) National Business Plan Competition held in Accra.

BBB, an annual competition organised by TechnoServe, is a national business plan and entrepreneurship development programme focused on generating sustainable enterprises that generate employment, and ultimately boost the country’s socio-economic development.

Out of the 38 finalists, ten were adjudged winners, with Mrs Mabel-Ann Akoto Kwudzo, Farmer and Proprietress of Okata Farms and Food Processing and Mr Neneyo Mate-Kole, Farmer and Proprietor of Asare Odometa Plantations declared the overall winners.

They received GH¢15,000 each cash prize.

The next top three winners received GH¢9,000 and the remaining five received GH¢5,000.

All the ten winners will also benefit from GH¢3,000 each after care support programme as well as have their products advertised on a website.

Mr Kwetey said individuals must have a reorientation of mindset and begin to take risks that would help unleash their potential for the good of not only themselves but the nation as a whole.

He said individuals must be guided by four basic principles; creativity, conviction, courage and credit to do things that would propel them to greater heights.

He explained the first three of the principles could come from the individual, but for credit, government would create the enabling environment for the individual to achieve his or her targets.

He said Ghanaians must begin to think globally adding government would support local entrepreneurs at the international level and urged the winners to become ambassadors of the country.

Mr Nick Railston-Brown, Country Director of TechnoServe, reminded the winners that the graduation marked the end of the beginning saying their challenge now was to create more jobs to absorb the unemployed.

Mr Raiston-Brown said he was overwhelmed at the quality of the finalists for this year’s competition adding “with them Ghana has what it takes to reach the highest levels”.

Mrs Akoto Kwudzo, who was recognised for the projects she was implementing at Likpe in the Volta Region, thanked the organisers on behalf of her colleagues.

She promised to do more to reduce unemployment in the area, in order to reduce migration of youth to urban centres in search of jobs.

The competition was sponsored by Tigo, one of Ghana’s mobile operators, Ecobank Ghana, and Google Company.

Source: GNA

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