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Business News Fri, 29 May 2009

ILO intensifies sensitization on decent work initiative

Accra, May 29, GNA - Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, an Economist on Friday urged District Assemblies to formulate developmental initiatives through local economic ventures - the bottom-up approach.

"These local entrepreneurs are challenging the top-down approach of political decisions making, mobilizing community assets, connecting inside and outside resources, synthesizing local visions, expertise and methods from private, public and community sector. "Community based small scale entrepreneurs with the requisite support have demonstrated their relevance in fostering and creating employment and promoting collective action across different sectors and actors," Dr Thompson who is also an International Project Expert on Local Economic Development (LED) initiatives of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) stated.

Dr Thompson was speaking at a capacity building workshop for some Members of Parliament, District and Municipal Chief Executives in Accra on ILO's Decent Work and LED initiative in Ghana. The LED initiatives seek to create decent work and stimulate local economic activity through four thematic areas, Local Economic Development, Youth Employment, Women's Entrepreneurship, and Knowledge Management.

The initiative is currently being undertaken in two pilot districts in Central Region (Ajumako and Awutu-Efutu-Senya Districts) and would be replicated in eight other districts. Giving an overview of the ILO's LED initiative and the role of project districts in the implementation process, Dr Thompson said governments across the world have realized the importance of the devolution of economic functions to local governments. He said the LED initiative involves devolution of the developmental duties of Municipal structures and manage its administration, and budgeting and planning processes to give priority to the basic needs of the community, and to promote the social and economic development of the community.

Mr Emmanuel Baisie, LED National Project Officer, said the project have created a public-private platform at district level through Sub-Committees for Production and Gainful Employment (SPGE). He said 15 members from District Assembly, Business Associations and civil society formed the SPGE, which is in-charge of Enterprise development, Locality development, Community economic development, Human resource development, and Target clients.

Mr Baisie said the project identifies existing firms - Micro, small and medium enterprises, new firm formation - new start-ups and draws up modalities for attracting firms from outside the community. He said intervention areas for Enterprise Development Financial services are microfinance, savings, credit schemes, whiles the business support services focuses on marketing, technology, training, advisory services, outcomes, jobs creation, joint projects developed and creating enabling space for SMEs development.

Other speakers were Mr Kwame Okae-Kissiedu and Mr Patrice A. Caesar-Sowah both National Project Officers who spoke on the LED initiatives in Ghana. 29 May 09

Source: GNA