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Regional News Tue, 28 Nov 2006

Advocacy groups receive assistance

Ho, Nov. 28, GNA - A total of 33 advocacy groups on Tuesday received 6.3 billion cedis from the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) to improve private sector advocacy issues in the country. The BUSAC Fund, jointly funded by DANIDA, DFID and USAID, is dedicated to support the private sector to contribute effectively to the evolvement of policies to improve the business environment. The beneficiary groups, which included the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Ghana Tourism Federation and the Ghana Co-operative Credit Unions Association (CUA) received between 598.9 million cedis and 18.2 million cedis.

The groups are supposed to use the amount given them for advocacy programmes to reduce poverty and create wealth.

In a speech read for him, Mr Alan Kyeremanten, Minister of Trade, Industry and Private Sector Development, stated that government remained committed to providing an enabling environment that is supportive of sustainable private sector growth.

He said it was in line of this objective that excise duty on primary raw materials were reduced from 10 to five per cent and the abolishing of the national reconstruction levy to support the private sector. Mr Kyeremanten said the government had created a stable macroeconomic environment to enable business to grow and called on people in the sector to grab the opportunity. He enumerated a number of initiatives that had been put in place for the business sector to create wealth and reduce poverty and called on groups and businessmen to take advantage of government programmes to enhance their ventures.

Mr Kofi Dzamesi, Volta Regional Minister, commended BUSAC for supporting the private sector advocacy groups.

"There is no denying fact that the private sector remains the key to the development of Ghana's economy", he added.

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He tasked the private sector to do more to accelerate the development of the economy.

The Regional Minister said the Regional Coordinating Council was prepared to help private sector operators to enable them to play their roles effectively as "vehicles" of economic advancement in the region. Mr Dzamesi appealed to the management of the Fund to step up its awareness drive to give opportunities to private sector groups in the region.

Madam Judith Kwawukume, Assistant Fund Manageress in an introductory address said a total of 700 applications for advocacy grants had been received by BUSAC and that it has committed funds in excess of 45 billion cedis to support private sector advocacy initiatives from various associations nationwide.

Mr David Nutakor, First Vice President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, expressed gratitude to the Fund.

He was grateful to the sponsors and promised that the money would be use for the purpose for which it was given.

Source: GNA
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