The establishment of the Rural Enterprise Project, REP by government under the Ministry of Trade and Industry is to help reduce poverty, create wealth and improve people’s livelihood.
The REP also has interventions to support small scale and artisanal businesses including auto-mechanic, auto electrical, welding and fabrication.
These were made known in a speech read on behalf of the Trade and Industry Minister, Dr. Spio Ekow Garbrah, by the National Director of the REP, Akwasi Atta Antwi at a sod cutting ceremony for an Industrial Mini City for the Zion Artisan Spare parts Dealers and Food Sellers Association at Adense near Ejisu.
over two thousand member Association acquired the 300 acre plot of land for the project from the Abira and Adense stool lands in the Kwabre East District of Ashanti.
The members are artisans and mechanics squatters plying their trade at various locations such building plots and empty spaces in the Kumasi metropolis.
The areas include Suame New Road, Civil Aviation Land at Kroform, Asafo Magazine, and Stadium Odiyifo Asare area.
The new Industrial Mini City is opened to all artisans operating in unapproved areas and have on several occasions been threatened by court actions by land owners and city authorities.
Among facilities to be provided include, Police Post, National Fire Service Station, Post Office, Schools, Clinics and Prison Services.
Dr. Spio Garbrah was happy to see the initiative because the Ministry through the Rural Enterprises Project has been promoting the setting up of Light Industrial Sites such as the Zion Artisans in the one hundred and 61 districts that are taking part in the REP.
According to him, Ghana can grow fast from the current lower-middle income status to a higher lever only through the provision of manpower resource that are skilled, knowledgeable, productive and adaptable to the changing needs of industry and businesses.
The Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister Andy Osei Okrah asked members to investigate backgrounds and credibility of various financial institutions that are prepared to do business with the artisans.
The President of the Association, Osei Assibey said the vision of the artisans is to create permanent and conducive environments to enhance their operations.