The Northern Regional Coordinating Council (NRCC) has inaugurated a committee to promote, coordinate and monitor the implementation of Medium Scale Enterprises (MSE) development activities, including Rural Enterprises Programme (REP) in the districts.
The 13-member committee, chaired by Mr. Moses Bukari Mabengba, the Regional Minister, will collate information on activities on MSE promotion in the districts as well as coordinate, monitor and provide backstopping to MSE development programmes and assess their impact.
It is also to review district annual performance plans and budgets on MSE development programmes and submit regional summaries to the NRCC, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and Programme Coordination and Management Unit of REP.
REP is one of government’s initiatives to create wealth and reduce poverty in rural communities.
Other members of the committee were drawn from the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ghana Standards Authority, Association of Small Scale Industries, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, GRATIS Foundation amongst others.
Mr. Nasamu Asabigi, the Deputy Northern Regional Minister who inaugurated the committee in Tamale on Wednesday, appealed to members to support the districts to ensure they participate effectively in the REP.
“It is noteworthy that the success of the committee in promoting the growth of MSEs in our rural communities will to a large extent depend on your motivation and commitment,” Mr. Asabigi said.
Mr. Albert Boachie, Regional Manager of NBSSI, who is also secretary to the committee, made a presentation on the overview of REP, which he said had reached the third phase of implementation in 2012 and the beneficiary districts would be up-scaled to at least 160.
Mr. Boachie said the first two phases of implementation of REP, which took place from 1995 to 2011, covered 66 districts.
He said the third phase, which would end in 2020, would cost $185 million, with the government providing $83.5 million whilst the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the African Development Bank will provide $31.5 million and $70 million respectively.
REP will mainstream the promotion of MSE into existing public and private institutions, and it is expected to benefit 200,000 clients including at least 100,000 women.
It will facilitate the establishment of 36,000 new businesses, strengthen 70,000 businesses and generate 100,000 jobs.
It will also ensure that business development services are accessible to MSEs, technical skills are transferred and technologies disseminated by rural technology facilities and MSEs to have access to finance.**