By Gifty Arthur
With funding from the European Union (EU), ActionAid Ghana (AAG), the local chapter of ActionAid, a global movement of people working together to further human rights for all and defeat poverty, has in partnership with the La-Nkwantanang-Madina Municipal Assembly (LaNMMA), organized a day’s market fair and exhibition for beneficiaries of one of its intervention programmes.
Named Sustainable Livelihoods and Transparent Local Authorities (SLATLA), the programme seeks to address systematic problem facing Ghana’s informal sector, which affects the livelihoods of vulnerable populations, while depriving local authorities, the needed financial resources to meet the development needs of people living in poverty and exclusion.
By design, SLATLA, has provided beneficiaries with employable skills and tools making them ready to establish their own permanent jobs.
The four year programme which is in its final phase this year, picked beneficiaries from the La-Nkwantanang-Madina Municipal Assembly and the Sunyani West District Assembly (SWDA) in the Bono region.
At no cost, beneficiaries who were trained in different skills and programmes covering poultry farming, ICT, embroidery, tiling plastic waste, vegetable production,fashion, mushroom production, grass cutter rearing, plumbing among others, displayed some of their products and works at the fair last Saturday.
SLATLA, has employed and trained over 3, 000 beneficiaries and given 1, 520 starter packs to these beneficiaries to initiate their own businesses at the local level.
Project Manager at ActionAid Ghana for SLATLA, Nurudeen Mohammed Aliu, said the programme was a way to support people in the informal sector to acquire skills and training to earn something on their own.
He said, the programme has three main objectives aimed at helping the assemblies to provide livelihood for revenue generation (while curbing diversion of revenue collection), increasing transparency and accountability and environmental sustainable livelihoods.
As part of the progromme, he said, ActionAid and the EU, are going to provide the two assemblies, Point of Sale (POS) devices which would be used to digitally collect taxes for the assemblies for development.
By this, the days when officials cheated these assemblies by diverting taxes meant for the assemblies, will be curb the moment the POS are presented to them and dispatched to the field.
While commending beneficiaries for successfully completing the programme, Nurudeen revealed they are “sustainability strategies” in place to ensure that they are not left to struggle on their own but linked to the Assemblies so that they can be given opportunities during awarding of government contracts at the assembly level.
He explained that, beneficiaries woul be considered first in government contracts where they have been trained——which he believes they can excel creditably——-so that they can also earn something for themselves and their dependants.
Nurudeen, urged them to register with the Department of Cooperatives, so that they can be properly recognized and sub-contract awarded them by the assemblies.
The La-Nkwantang-Madina Municipal Assembly, tasked the beneficiaries to remain united, focused, work hard and ensure that moneys gotten from their work, is properly saved so that when the need arises for them to support themselves, they can do so.
They were also assured, they will be the first to be selected whenever training opportunities come in the future.