Murtala Mohammed launching the project.
The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), an umbrella body of journalists in Ghana, launched the third phase of the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC) Project in Accra last Wednesday.
Speaking at the launch of the project, which coincided with GJA’s media orientation on private sector development, the President of GJA, Affail Monney stated that the project seeks to engage and encourage the media to report comprehensively on disturbing issues affecting the holistic development of the private sector, as Ghanaians deal with the economic crisis.
‘The third phase seeks to encourage the media to give a comprehensive coverage of the challenges facing the private sector,’ Mr. Monney said.
According to him, private sector businesses continue to suffer severely as a result of the incessant erratic power supply in Ghana.
‘The private sector business operators in particular and Ghanaians in general are enduring harsh times over dumsor,’ he said.
He said other factors such as lack of access to credit facilities and high interest rates regime continue to pose serious challenges to private businesses, hampering their growth potentials in the process.
Mr. Monney stressed the need for journalists to regularly highlight issues affecting the private sector for discussion on their various platforms.
He disclosed that GJA has already embarked on two advocacy projects for small-scale businesses and entrepreneurs with funding from the BUSAC Fund.
Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, who chaired the launch, indicated that there has been a shift towards inculcating the private sector into national development planning.
According to him, ‘In more recent times, there has been movement towards the need for us to factor the private sector into national development planning because ultimately it has the greatest potential for growth in job creation and so forth.’
Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, advised the media to focus on challenges facing the private sector ‘to promote the economy of the nation.’
He noted that the country’s economy was faced with serious challenges, adding that it recorded foreign exchange deficit of about $4 billion in 2014 alone.
He blamed the development on what he termed as ‘post-independent mentality’ which he said has ‘made every young man to depend on the government for job after graduation.’
The BUSAC Fund is a multi-donor funding mechanism funded by DANIDA, USAID and the EU that allows the private sector operators to advocate to the local, regional and national authorities for changes to the legal and regulatory frameworks that hinder the growth and development of the private sector.
GJA began the first phase of the advocacy project from 2006-2007, and the second phase came on stream from 2007-2010.
The two phases targeted small-scale businesses and entrepreneur advocacy.
BY Melvin Tarlue
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