The Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Joseph Tetteh, says the government is poised to assist identifiable groups with employable skills to access loan facilities to enable them to create their own jobs and earn decent living.

He said it was in that direction that the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, through her foundation was championing the cause of women and praised her for that laudable initiative which had engaged many women in different sectors of the economy.

Mr Tetteh, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Upper Manya Krobo, made the remarks at the graduation ceremony of women participants in training and skills development programme at Odumase Krobo in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality.In all, 100 women acquired skills in batik tie-dye making, beads and soap making instituted by the First Lady, under the Rebecca Foundation.

The training programme was organised by Fifth Delight, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), in collaboration with the Rebecca Foundation and with support from the Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Assembly.

Loan facilities

The deputy minister expressed gratitude to the First Lady and the NGO for selecting the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality for the training and skills development programme.

The MP said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government together with the Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Assembly had shown its commitment to implementing policies and programmes aimed at enhancing women’s effective participation in socio-economic activities.

“The New Patriotic Party has come to teach people how to fish but not only how to eat fish,” the MP added.

Mr Tetteh told the graduates that a lot of resources were used in their training and therefore they should put into practice what they had learnt so as not to forget the skills they had acquired.

The Deputy Regional Minister said soon the MASLOC loan facility would also be made available to deserving traders and urged the graduates to form groups so as to access the loan for their business when it was ready.

He urged citizens of the area to support the leadership of the government to bring more developments, including rehabilitation of the road network in the area.

Start-up kits

The Lower Manya Krobo Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Simon Kweku Tetteh, said under the Rural Enterprises Development Programme, a Business Advisory Centre had been established to offer women-related programmes such as training and skills development programme, the provision of start-up kits, as well as business development advice.

He said the 2000 Population and Housing Census established that out of the population of 89,246 in the municipality, 53.5 per cent were women and, therefore, the socio-economic profile of the municipality would always feature women-related activities.

He said interestingly, a further study revealed that within the women population in the municipality, 25.4 per cent of ages above 15 were illiterates with 60.4 per cent engaged in subsistence farming, and informal micro and small-scale activities.

He said with that disturbing circumstance that characterised women’s participation in economic activities in the municipality, the need for initiatives that addressed women’s effective participation in key economic sectors had been very pressing and relevant for the continuous attention by all.

The MCE added that the assembly would channel sizeable amounts of the common fund through the Business Advisory Centre to strengthen the centre financially to undertake its activities.

The Executive Director of Fifth Delight, Mrs Joana H. Ortsin, said the NGO would train more women especially to acquire their own skills and create their own jobs to reduce poverty.

A representative from the Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection in the Eastern Region, Ms Ama Boateng, said the ministry was ready to support women in diverse forms to ensure gender equality and empowerment.

The Manya Krobo Paramount Queenmother, Nana Aplam II, chaired the function.

Source: http://www.graphic.com.gh

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