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LESPED To Grow 40,000 Businesses by December   
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Elvis Afriyie Ankrah
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Cape Coast, April 14, GNA- The Government through the Local Enterprises Skills Development Programme (LESPED) would create about 40,000 new businesses by the end of this year to cut down the unemployment rate in the country.

Consequently, an amount of GHc84,000,000.00 of the national budget has been allocated for skills training of the unemployed youth who desire to learn a trade and later provided with tools on flexible payment terms, for them to set-up their own businesses to help accelerate the socio-economic development of the country.

Mr. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, a Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, announced this on Friday at the graduation ceremony of 659 people from four districts of the Central Region who have undergone between three weeks to a month’s top-up training in various trades.

The beneficiary districts are; Assin South, Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) and Cape Coast who received skills training in trades including hairdressing, dressmaking, carpentry, barbering, soap-making mobile phone repairing, photography and welding.

The total number of beneficiaries trained in the Region now stands at 2,113.

The elated graduates were presented with tools of their trade ranging from hairdryers, sewing machines and barbering equipment to ice-chests, cooking utensils, gas-cookers and ovens.

Mr. Afriyie Ankrah said the “Better Ghana Agenda”, was on course and that the economy which was in shambles when the National Democratic Congress (NDC) took over the administration of the country and it is now growing at an annual rate of 16%, stressing it was an “unprecedented” achievement.

He urged them to work harder and in-turn train others in their communities to help create more employment in the country to reduce poverty adding, Singapore, Korea and the other Asian Tigers grew their economies through local enterprises and businesses.

The beneficiaries should take good care of the equipment and tools and also pay back promptly.

The Regional Coordinator of LESDEP, Mr. Edwin Okpoti Sowah, noted that the programme was unique because it does not only offer skills training to the beneficiaries but also help them to be economically independent.

He said competent people are selected for the training which is aimed at drastically reducing the unemployment rate in the Region and asked the unemployed to avail themselves of the opportunity, no matter their political affiliation and register at their district assemblies to benefit from the programme.

The Omanhen of Oguaa, Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, who presided, advised them against selling the tools and idling about but to work hard to enrich their lives and that of their communities.
Source: GNA

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