Gov’t asked to review economic empowerment policies to benefit PWDs

Social Pwds Concerns

Mr Philip Duah, Executive Director of the Abak Foundation, has urged the government to review the economic empowerment policies for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) to improve their living standards.

He said the failure of the current policy was due to a lack of assessment of the actual entrepreneurial potential of these PWDs.

Mr. Duah made the call on the sidelines of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Clinic for Entrepreneurs with disabilities under the Sightsavers Economic Empowerment Programme for PWDs in Ghana.

The Clinic was to offer business advisory services for SMEs owned by PWDs.

“The whole problem with disability inclusion has to do with the policy challenges from the government. You have the situation where the government will say we are giving these things to PWDs, but at the end of the day, they end up doing something else because their needs were not assessed,” he said.

He said the practice of buying machines, including popcorn machines, sowing machines, and refrigerators, by the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDCEs) for PWDs would not achieve the intended objectives of improving the living standards of PWDs.

He advised the MMDCEs to assess the actual entrepreneurial potential of PWDs and redirect the District Common Fund to support them.

Mrs. Matilda Osei, Head of Client Service for the Office of the Registrar of Companies (ORC), urged PWDs to identify and engage the appropriate regulators relevant to their enterprises before they commence production.

The engagement, she said, would also ensure that the owners of the enterprises adhere to the required safety standards and patent their products and innovations to prevent intellectual property breaches from competitors.

“As an entrepreneur, you must protect your product from duplication, so, it is important that you come to our office to register your product,” she said.

She said for those in the food and beverages industry, they needed to register with the Food and Drugs Authority for them to know about your product to prevent any problems.

Mr Joshua Addy, National Coordinator, National Council for Persons with Disabilities, said initiatives aimed at empowering PWDs must be redirected from white-collar job-related training to technical and vocational training.

He said some of the white-collar job-related training eventually rendered PWDS jobless, so attention must be given to projects that would provide PWDs with the required skills to earn an income.

The Economic Empowerment Programme, funded by Sightsavers International, is aimed at supporting PWDs, who are entrepreneurs to expand their business operations and to position their businesses to access credits and financial support.

The beneficiaries, which included SMEs, were about 60 PWDS with various business backgrounds in food processing, textiles, and basket weaving.

The beneficiaries were tutored on basic accounting, marketing, branding, and how to access credit from financial institutions to support their enterprises.

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