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Extend and expand GJA/BUSAC media advocacy project   
 
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05-Nov-2009  
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Members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade and Industry (PSCTI), on Thursday called for an extension and expansion of the GJA/BUSAC media advocacy project.

They said the project's success story indicated that its extension and expansion in the three northern regions would help reduce poverty and improve living standards of the people.

The members made the call in an interaction with the National Executive Committee of Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and management of KAB Governance Consult, a media consultancy firm in Accra.

The GJA and Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC) project is to enhance growth of the private sector through effective dialogue with the public sector.

The project: "Using the Media to Strengthen Business Advocacy" is being financed by BUSAC through GJA.

BUSAC was established to create an enabling environment for SME's and media to influence public policy formulation.

This is being undertaken through appropriate research, developing evidence-based policy positions and advocating them with government and the private sector targeted by the action.

Mr. Isaac Osei, Member of Parliament for Subin and member of the committee, said there had been improvement in the operations of SME's since the inception of the project.

However, he said more advocacy work was needed to be done to make the private sector the engine of growth of the country.

Mr. Osei noted that SMEs constituted 95 per cent of registered businesses in the country and therefore required better attention.

He said the committee would recommend to government to re-introduce the Business Advisory Centre (BAC) services nationwide to provide an advisory role on improvement in the sector to play its role in the national economy.

"Adequate resources for the National Board for Small Scale Industry (NBSSI) is needed to enable it perform its mandate better, "he added.

Mr. Osei said the committee was considering recommending to government to establish a Ministry for Credit and Commerce to deal with loans for SMEs to boost their operations.

Mr. Kwasi Afriyie-Badu, Chief Executive Officer of KAB Governance Consult, called for the involvement of SMEs operators in the fixing of rates as stipulated in the 1992 Constitution.

He said research conducted into the operations of SMEs in the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) indicated that some laws pertaining to their operations were being flouted.

"We also discovered that deductions from the District Assemblies Common Fund by the government and items purchased without resolutions by the assemblies are not proper and a strain on the fund," Mr. Afriyie-Badu said.

He said deductions made from the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) at source was affecting operations of most of the assemblies because it made them less resourced and unable to support the SME's.

Mr. Bright Blewu, General Secretary of GJA, said the project is being implemented nationwide to promote SME's through advocacy and the engagement of the media in their activities.

He said under the project, GJA/BUSAC had organised numerous training programmes for selected journalists nationwide to equip them to play a key role in improving operations of the private sector.

Mr. Blewu said the training provided relevant information on the characteristics and challenges of SMEs and the beneficiary journalists had formed an association.

It is called Journalists for Business Advocacy and their activities are being supervised and monitored by the GJA.
 
 
 
 

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