A training workshop for seventy-four Farmer Based Organisations and Trade Associations selected to benefit from the 4th Call of the Skills Development Fund (SDF) has taken place in Accra.
The two-day workshop, organised by the Project Support Unit (PSU) of the Council for Technical and Vocational Educational Training (COTVET), formed part of the prerequisites of the disbursement of fund to grantees.
Participants were taken through the fundamentals of financial management, basic procurement tips and sound contract execution that will assist them in the sustenance of their projects.
Other areas of orientation for the new grantees were in information management, the sharing of outcomes to the general public and the monitoring of their performance in relation to set targets in their project proposals.
In his remarks at the end of the workshop, Mr. Ato Simpson, Fund manager of SDF, said the training workshop was intended to equip grantees with the requisite tools that would help them utilize the monies to be allocated to them efficiently.
Mr Simpson said such a workshop was very relevant to avoid the misapplication of monies allocated to grantees.
In a presentation, Mr Kofi Asare, Communications and Outreach Officer of the Fund, urged grantees to engage closely with credible media houses nationwide to ensure publicity on their activities and outcomes.
Mr Asare made it clear that the about GH¢ 60 million of SDF was a loan secured from the World Bank under an IDA credit facility to the Government of Ghana, which had to be refunded, hence the need for beneficiary businesses to be accountable to the general public whose taxes would eventually be used to settle the loan.
In his remarks, one of the grantees, Mr Isaac Buabeng of the Ashanti regional branch of the Woodworkers' Association of Ghana (WAG), said the workshop had actually exposed them to some of basic business practices.
Mr Buabeng expressed gratitude to PSU of COTVET for the training, adding that without the training, funds allocated to them might not be put to the productive use of their business.
For her part, Madam Victoria Asaaro of the Bimoba Women Farmers' Association in the Upper East region, said the workshop had introduced them to basic areas of book keeping, monitoring, budgeting and financial accountability.
SDF has, since 2011, approved over GHC 40 million worth of grants to small, medium and large businesses and groups in Ghana.
The Fund, which is a World Bank and DANIDA financed support to the Government of Ghana, seeks to address the skills and technology challenges faced by businesses in both the formal and informal sectors in the areas of technology acquisition, skills upgrade and innovative market-oriented practices for increased productivity.
Under the fourth Call, SDF plans to further disburse over GHC 20 million to businesses.
Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)