Accra — A project designed to improve the physical environment at garages and markets throughout the country has been launched at Mankesim in Central Region.
Known as the Domestic Trade and Industrial Services Improvement Project (DOTIP), it is expected to provide among others refuse containers, toilet facilities, construction of drainages and roads and lighting system to contribute to the development of an efficiently functioning domestic market for the distribution of products for local consumption and promotion of consumer welfare.
Speaking at the launching ceremony at the Mankesim market, Minister for Trade, Industry and Private Sector Development and Presidential Special Initiative, Papa Owusu Ankomah said 30 markets and 20 garages across the country would be covered under DOTIP before the end of this year under the first phase of the project. Zoomlion Ghana Limited has been contracted to implement the DOTIP.
"The lives of over 10,000 traders and artisans, and countless consumers and customers will benefit in terms of access to products and services in a more healthy and congenial environment. Over 1,000 persons are expected to be employed directly during the course of the project implementation."
He noted that about 90% of revenue is generated from the activities of artisans and traders which contribute to the development of the country's economy, thus the DOTIP to provide and improve sanitation to enable them operate in a congenial environment.
"The trade ministry is through this project complementing the efforts of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment and Municipal and District Assemblies to ensure that markets and garages in the country are clean."
He said the second phase of the project would provide training and technical assistance programmes to artisans and traders to expand access to finance. Particularly from government funded schemes for micro and small enterprises.
Papa Ankomah explained that food traders and distributors will especially be targeted for assistance to ensure that they can cost-effectively source, transport and delivery supplies efficiently.
"We also intend to extend the project to cover traders of foodstuffs such as processed fish, game, bread, kenkey, etc., particularly those operating along rural highways."
He announced that plans were underway to give a facelift to the Mankesim and Kotokoraba markets through the construction of storey buildings.
Representatives of traders and garages associations welcomed the project while they hoped it would be a reality to improve their operations.
They appealed to the project initiators to provide the various markets adequate security.
The Deputy Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, Mr. Maxwell Kofi Jumah, recounted that the Mankesim market was noted for its vibrant trading activities but lost it because it was not developed.
He said DOTIP is therefore part of government's efforts to bring rapid but lasting relief to markets and garages in the country to boost revenue generation.