Include Capacity Building in Micro Credit Schemes for Women - Hajia Mahama

Oct 2006
Ghana , October, 06 2006 - Hajia Alima Mahama, Minister for Women and Children's Affairs has called for the inclusion of capacity building in micro credit schemes for women to enhance loan recovery.


She said the disbursement of 124 billion cedis since 2002 to women groups under the Women Development Fund, was yielding results in areas where capacity building were adopted and cited a group at Madina in Accra that currently had 44 million cedis to its credit following sound measures on savings.

Hajia Mahama made the call in an address read by her Special Assistant Mrs Eva Bediako at a capacity building workshop, for women at Asiakwa in East Akyem District.

It is being attended by 105 women living around the fringes of Atiwa Forest to enable them manage loans granted to them under the 2.7-million-dollar World Global Environment Facility to boost their income and help conserve the environment.The workshop organised by the Forestry Commission (FC) is part of strategies to help reduce criminal activities in the nation's forests by about 75 per cent and increase flora and fauna by 10 per cent over a five year period.

The strategy is part of programmes under the Community Investment Fund (CIF) to reduce poverty in communities along the fringes of Globally Significant Biodiversity Area (GSBA) through access to alternative incomes to reduce their dependence on forest products for livelihood.

Hajia Mahama appealed to the participants to take keen interest in the workshop and impart the knowledge they acquired on the prudent management of loans granted to them and help conserve the forest for posterity.

Mr Duke Osam-Duodu, Deputy Managing Director of ARB Apex Bank, said though the CIF scheme was yet to be fully evaluated, there had been strong conviction of an improvement in the forest resource management in areas where the bank was managing loans on behalf of the Commission.

He said the bank was concerned with the low economic status of Ghanaian women and would support efforts of all well-meaning institutions that sought to raise the income levels of women.

Mr Osam-Duodo commended chiefs in Akyem Abuakwa for their role that had enabled the project to progress smoothly.

Government decided to arrest poaching and wanton destruction of forest resources in 1998 following the receipt of 8.7 million dollars under the Global Environment Facility, to conserve biological diversity within forest reserves.

Equipping communities along forest fringes that subsisted on forest products in alternative income schemes such as snail rearing, bee-keeping and cultivation of vegetables with state granted loans was part of the practical steps that were being taken to give meaning to forest conservation policy.


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