Ms Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry, on Tuesday asked all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the country to establish the Rural Enterprises Programme (REP), to alleviate the plight of the rural poor.
She explained that the programme , established in 1995, formed part of Government’s efforts to reduce poverty and improve upon the living conditions of people in the rural areas.
Ms Tetteh made the call at the launch of the third phase of the REP at Mankessim in the Central Region.
The occasion was also used to inaugurate a rural technology facility and a five-day trade exhibition of which assorted soaps, tie and dye cloths, palm oil, sandals, gari, palm kernel processing machines, and gas cookers were displayed by beneficiaries of the programme.
Ms Tetteh said the first and second phases of the REP had played significant roles in the development of the beneficiary districts.
She said the Ministry would establish a Department of Technological Industries at the districts to promote light industrial concept as well as enhance capacity building and competitiveness among Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMSEs).
Ms Tetteh said the REP was a demand-driven initiative and interested MMDAs would be expected to provide offices and personnel, who would be paid by the assemblies, and the remaining facilities needed to sustain the project would be provided by the Government.
She said about 600,000 rural poor-micro and small- scale entrepreneurs nationwide were expected to receive support under the REP, from 2012 to 2020.
The REP is funded by the Government of Ghana, African Development Bank and the International Fund For Agricultural Development Bank.