By Abdul-Kudus Fuseini, Tamale
BUSAC Fund II has supported over 22,816 women groups and associations with grants to undertake business advocacy in the SADA operational area.
The grant will enable the women call for attention to laws and regulations as well as infrastructure, procedures and processes that impede efficient operation and management of their businesses -- the women received an average of GHÂ¢51,384.55.
The women are also expected to advocate for an improvement in the business environment in Ghana, thereby facilitating private sector development and growth.
â€œCurrently, many of the women business associations are advocating for access to improved market infrastructure; adequate warehousing/storage facilities to mitigate post-harvest losses and enhance food security; connection to the national electricity grid to increase production or undertake agro-processing; access to potable water for agro-processing; access to quality seeds for improved crop-yield; rehabilitation of irrigation facilities to increase crop production, especially in the long dry-season that is characteristic of northern Ghana; and constraining laws, policies and administrative bottlenecks,â€ Tamale Office Chief, Dennis Puridemme, told B&FT
He stressed that the grant provided enables the women to go through a (4) four-day advocacy training in order to acquire the necessary skills and tactics to successfully implement their advocacy projects -- the advocacy training has empowered women associations up north to speak up and put pressure on duty-bearers to create an enabling business environment for the growth of businesses in the north and private sector development in general.
The associations are able to implement the advocacy projects themselves with the support of a hired Business Service Provider.
â€œIt is important to know that selected members of all the women business associations in the SADA operation that are beneficiaries of the BUSAC Fund II project are currently going through a financial management and recordkeeping to complement their ability to implement advocacy projects. This training is important for the women to manage the finances of their associations as well as their individual businesses,â€ he added.
Similarly, the BUSAC Fund project phase II has held an information session for 250 business associations at Walewale in the West Mamprusi District of the Northern Region.
The information session was attended by representatives of various business associations such as the farmer-based organisations (FBOs), trade unions, and special business groups including Business Associations of women and persons with disability.
The essence of the information session was to offer business associations first-hand information about BUSAC Fund operations and activities in the operational area of the SADA -- especially the three regions of the north.
The information session was facilitated by the satellite office in Tamale: the satellite office in Tamale serves the Northern, Upper East, and Upper West Regions as well as the northern parts of the Volta and Brong Ahafo Regions.
The Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund phase II has already disbursed GHÂ¢2.5million to 58 Private Sector Organisations in the three regions of the north to do business advocacy.
The BUSAC Fund supports the Ghanaian private sector to advocate to local, regional and national authorities for changes to the legal and regulatory frameworks and infrastructure gaps that hinder private sector activities, thus reducing revenue generation and economic growth.
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The second phase of the project is being sponsored by three (3) Development Partners â€“- DANIDA, USAID and the EC.