The Minister for Trade and Industry, Dr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah, has visited a number of REP clients, field staff and staff of implementing partners in the Northern and Upper East region. The visit formed part of Dr. Spio-Garbrah’s activities to acquaint himself with interventions and experiences of agencies under his Ministry. He was accompanied by the Chief Director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), Mr. Dawarnoba Baeka, some Directors of the MoTI, and Knowledge Management and Communications Officer of REP, Nanabanyin Brown-Addo.
Dr. Spio-Garbrah begun his tour in the Northern Region by paying a courtesy call on the Regional Minister, Alhaji Muhammed Muniru Limuna and his Coordinating Director, Alhaji Issahaku Alhassan, both of whom are the co-chairpersons of the Northern Regional Committee on Micro and Small Enterprises Promotion ( RECOMEP).
He met with some members of the business community in the region, most of whom were members of the Association of Small Scale Industries (ASSI), together with staff of some district BACs, NBSSI Regional office and GRATIS Foundation. Also present were some MoTI agencies which provide business development support to small and medium enterprises. They include the Ghana Standards Authority, Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Free Zones Board and the Export Development and Agriculture Investment Fund.
The Trade and Industry Minister advised the people of the Northern Region to debunk the tag of being poor and harness their resources to become the food basket of the country. He the entrepreneurs to take advantage of the opportunities offered by REP and other MoTI agencies to develop their businesses and add value to the numerous agricultural produce from the region. He explained that the primary objective of the BACs located in the various districts in the region is to develop businesses and improve people’s livelihoods. He therefore charged them to visit the BACs for training; advisory services and support to write business proposals that will enable them attract financial support from the banks and other government agencies. He also advised business owners to form partnership to reap the full benefits of their collective investment.
He encouraged the various MoTI agencies to use the BACs, as the only MoTI agency at the district level, to deliver their interventions to their target beneficiaries.
Acting National President of ASSI, Saeed Moomen, expressed happiness that the Minister had taken time to interact with them. He mentioned that his association had benefited enormously from the Rural Enterprises Programme and NBBSI, which is currently housing their national office at its headquarter in Accra.
Dr. Spio-Garbrah also held meetings with staff of the regional offices of NBSSI and GRATIS in the Upper East region. The Deputy Upper East Regional Minister and some Ministry of Trade and Industry agencies which serve on the Regional Committee on Micro and Small Scale Enterprises (RECOMEP) were present at the meeting. The Regional Managers of NBSSI and GRATIS briefed the Minister about some REP implementation challenges at the district level and actions taken by the Upper East RECOMEP to resolve them. .
He visited the Craft Village in Bolgatanga where he interacted with some REP clients and artisans working at the center.