The World University Service of Canada (WUSC) has since August 2014 been supporting the Bibiani Anhwiase Bekwai Business Advisory Center to perform its mandate of supporting business development in the district. The Bibiani Ahwiaso Bekwai BAC was established in 2007 by the Rural Enterprises Project Phase Two (REP II) and has since been delivering various business development services to persons living in the district.
The collaboration between WUSC and the BAC is aimed at increasing the capacity of the latter to be able to provide business management training and coaching to small business operators in the district. As part of the collaboration, a volunteer from the WUSC, Dr. Abdoulaye Gonde, has been in Ghana, working with the BAC since August 2014. He is expected to return to WUSC in June 2016. Dr. Gonde’s main task as a volunteer to the BAC is to visit small business operators and provide them with technical advice and counselling. As a veterinary doctor by profession, Dr. Gonde also visits clients of the BAC who are into animal rearing to provide them with veterinary and other extension services at no cost.
According to the Head of the BAC, Bernard Agyemang Duah, the collaboration has been very fruitful especially in the provision of timely veterinary services to BAC clients engaged in poultry and piggery businesses. He explains that the clients would have paid lots of money to receive such extension services.
According Dr. Abdoulaye Gonde, the decision by WUSC to support the BAC was reached following the immense contribution of the BAC to the successful implementation of a Project WUSC was implementing in the District. The Project, the Bibiani/Anhwiaso/Bekwai District Development Project (BABDDP) was jointly implemented with the District Assembly from January 2011 to March 2014. Funding came from Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.
The BAC, along with the District Agricultural Development Unit (DADU), were the key implementers of the Project’s entrepreneurship, employment generation and gender equality interventions. 325 youth were trained by the BAC and DADU in bee keeping, cocoa nursery, piggery and poultry. They were also supported with startup kits under the Project. These beneficiaries have since become clients of REP.