Six Ghanaian districts to benefit from $3m Japanese grant

Six District Assemblies (DAs) in the Upper East Region of Ghana is to benefit from a $3 million grant under the Japanese Social Development Fund (JSDF) by September 2012 for income generating activities groups and the underprivileged.

The beneficiary districts include Bongo, Talensi- Nabdam, Builsa, Bawku West, Kassena Nankana West and Garu- Tempane Districts.

This was contained in a press release signed by Mr Peter Atogewe Wedam, Acting Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) in Bolgatanga on Wednesday.

According to the release, the grant comes to complement the World Bank (WB) funded Ghana Social Opportunities Project (GSOP)  and would be piloted over a three year period for under privileged groups in the selected districts,  to help the people to establish or boost existing income generation activities.

Dr Naotaka Sawada, Senior Rural Private Sector Development Specialist at the WB in a presentation, said the Japanese government would fund 80 per cent of the project through the WB and the District Assemblies (DAs) would be expected to support with 20 per cent through their revolving fund with the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) that would serve as a major local partner.

Mr Sawada said 3,500 beneficiaries and 90 associations have been estimated to benefit from the JSDF project for the pilot duration, including basket weavers, shea butter producers, local associations as well as very the poor individuals, as targets of the project.

He disclosed that operational manual for the implementation would be derived from stakeholder meetings similar to the one held in the region and called for closer collaboration between the RCC and DAs.

Mr Samuel Forson, Rural Development Specialist of the WB said a Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) would be prepared and signed with beneficiary districts on behalf of the Local Government Ministry and the Project Management when discussions with stakeholders were finalized.

He said during the implementation of the intervention, relevant consultants, NBSSI and Department of Cooperatives (DoCs) would provide technical assistance and training for beneficiaries.

Mrs Lucy Awuni, Upper East Deputy Regional Minister, who chaired the meeting attended by the project consultants from the World Bank, National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), District Chief Executives (DCEs) from the beneficiary districts and other stakeholders tasked the DCEs to put in place desk officers at the various districts assemblies to manage the grant effectively.

Source: GNA

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