SHORT PROFILE OF LOUIS ASOMANING-BIMPONG (SMALL-SCALE ENTERPRISE/PUBLIC-PRIVATE PASRTNERSHIP SPECIALIST)
Louis Asomaning-Bimpong is the Small Scale Enterprise Specialist/Public-Private Partnership Specialist of the Social Investment Fund (SIF). Louis offered Business Administration at the first degree at the University of Ghana. At the second degree level he pursued M.Phil in Development Studies at the Centre for Development Studies, University of Cape Coast.
He also holds, among others, a Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management from the Galilee International Management Institute, Mizra, Israel, a Post Graduate Certificate in Business Consultancy for Small and Medium Scale Industries from the Academy of Management, Kiel, Germany, and another Post Graduate Certificate in Project Planning and Implementation from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).
He has over 25 years extensive training and experience in Business Advocacy, Training Delivery Services, Project Planning and Management, Project Appraisal, Management of Credit Operations (microcredit, short and medium-term lending to small-scale enterprises) and Small Business Counseling and Advisory Services for small-scale enterprises (SSEs).
With over 25 years working experience, Louis worked with the Ghanaian Enterprises Development Commission (GEDC) and the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and rose to the rank of Regional Manager. He also worked with Friedrich Naumann Foundation of Germany, Ghana Office and was in charge of Business Development. He was later a Credit Manager at Empretec Ghana Foundation in charge of Western and Central Regions. Before joining, SIF as the Small Scale Enterprise Specialist/Public-Private Partnership Specialist, Louis was the Business Development Manager and Head of the Business Development Department of the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF).
Justice Kofi Akuffo-Henaku, is a Socio-Economic Development Consultant with 21 years experience in Community and Socio-Economic Development issues. He is well versed in rural development, local governance and decentralization. Justice has a rich experience in project management, financial management, strategic planning, and administration and is familiar with Africa Development Bank, World Bank and donor funded procedures as well as Industrial Relations. He has worked with the Ghana Civil Service, the Ghana Trades Union Congress and the Social Investment Fund.
He has worked on institutional capacity building assignments to train Community Based Organizations (CBOs), NGOs and MMDAs as an SIF Zonal Coordinator in charge of Eastern, Volta and Greater Accra Regions. He now serves as the Business Development Manager in charge of all consultancies and proposal writing in the SIF.
Justice holds an MA in International Relations from Kiev State University (Kiev, Ukraine) a Postgraduate Diploma in Industrial Management from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST, Kumasi), a Certificate in Public Administration from Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and a Diploma in Project Management, Galilee International Management Institute, Israel.
Mr. Augustine Donkor-Afram is the Finance and Accounting Specialist of SIF. He joined SIF in March 2009. He is a business and public administration graduate and finance professional. He attended Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, Financial Training College in London and University of Ghana Business School.
He has over 23 years of career related working experience acquired from manufacturing, local governance and development programmes/projects funded by multilateral development institutions/banks namely European Development Fund (EDF), African Development Fund (ADF) OPEC Fund (OFID), Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and Vision Fund Ghana (affiliate of World Vision International).
He has the following academic and professional qualifications: Masters in Public Administration (MPA), Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (Accounting) and Professional Finance/Accounting Certification – FCCA/ACCA.
THE FINANCE & ACCOUNTING UNIT
The finance and accounting unit is headed by the finance and accounting specialist and assisted by six (6) accounting officers, two (2) at the fund management unit being the head office and four (4) at each SIF Zonal office. The SIF regional offices have been zoned into four (4) namely zone 1 made up of the three (3) Northern Regions, zone 2 made up of Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Region, Zone 3 made up of Central and Western Regions and Zone 4 made up of Eastern, Greater Accra and Volta Regions. Each zonal accounting officer is responsible for the all financial and accounting matters of the zone.
The finance and accounting unit is responsible for managing all donor fund and counterpart funds meant for development projects and internally generated funds of SIF. It is also responsible for preparing all financial reports of SIF, budget preparation and implementation, payment of claims, etc.
Kwame Obeng Nti is a Development Planner and Policy Analyst with 17 years experience in Social Development, 12 of which have been in project management capacity. Kwame holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Planning; a Master of Science degree in Development Policy and Planning; and a Bachelor of Arts in degree in Sociology with Social Work. He also has a diploma in Project Management. His research and professional experiences have been in the areas of project and strategic planning, project management, poverty reduction, policy analyses, urban water management and climate change. Kwame has worked with the Social Investment Fund in various capacities since 2002.
Dr. Kofi Asamoa-Baah is the Technical Advisor at the Social Investment Fund (SIF). Prior to his appointment to the SIF, Dr. Asamoa-Baah served as Technical Advisor at the Ministry of Finance for ten (10) years (December 2007 – January 2017).
At the Ministry, Dr. Baah worked with various technical divisions including the Real Sector Division (RSD), Financial Services Division (FSD), Debt Management Division (DMD), Public Investment Division (PID), and the Budget Division.
At these Divisions, Dr. Baah provided technical advice and policy analysis in support of Ghana’s Economic Growth Programs, and undertook a variety of analytical assignments to support major National Policy Initiatives, working with the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
As a Board Member of the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), Dr. Baah helped implement the US$547 Million, five (5) year Compact Program between the Government of Ghana (GoG), and the United States Government represented by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) . He was later re-engaged to provide Technical Advisory Services for the MCC sponsored USD$535 Million grant facility for Compact II, which was dedicated solely in the Energy Sector of the country.
Dr. Baah has consulted for the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).
Dr. Baah holds a Bachelors BSc (Hons) Degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Ghana Legon, a Masters Degree in Finance from the Atlanta University USA, and a PHD in Development Planning from the University of Phoenix, USA.
The Social Investment Fund has increasingly gained attention for its capacity to support poor communities, especially in the context of scaling up efforts to reduce poverty. In line with this support, the SIF has selected the Natinga community for the construction of a Rural Clinic with potable water under the IRDP.
Natinga is a farming community in the Nanumba South District. It is located across the River Oti in an area popularly known as ‘over seas’. The community has one primary school, one functioning borehole but no health facility. The nearest heath facility is located at Pudua which is about 30km away. The other health facility where people from Natinga access health care services is at Damanko in Nkwanta North District of the Volta Region and a distance of 25km. Apparently, access to quality health care in this community is a challenge.
On the other hand, the location of Natinga makes it more difficult to reach with our support. For example, to access Natinga from Wulensi, the District capital, one would have to go to Bimbilla, cross the Oti River at Asafoache, continue to Lahito, Chichagi, Pudua, Woribogu (Zabzugu District) and to Natinga, a distance of 80km. The other route is to go to Damanko, (Nkwanta North District) cross the Moala River, get to Egamboya, Kanjo Kura and finally arrive at Natinga, a distance of 60km on feeder roads. Again, if one wants to avoid crossing a river in order to get to Natinga, then one would have to travel from Wulensi to Yendi, Zabzugu, Woribogu and finally Natinga, a distance of about 320km.
Notwithstanding the above, the SIF in its effort to reduce poverty through the provision of resources to the poor communities on a demand-driven basis, targeted the community and it is about to construct a clinic with potable water for them.
The purpose of the project is to bring health delivery services to the door step of the community members.
The Project also seeks to achieve the following:
- Provide a safe environment for delivery of pregnant women.
- Reduce to barest minimum the distance, cost, and risk of transporting sick and pregnant to distant health facilities.
- Reduce from 8 to 0 fistula cases in the community that are due to protracted labour.
It is expected that these interventions would bring immense relief to the people of the community and thereby improve upon their quality of life.
Bechemboi, a farming community in the Sissala East District, is benefiting from the construction of a Two-bedroom semi-detached Teachers’ Quarter under the Integrated Rural Development Project (IRDP) which is being implemented by the Social investment Fund. The construction of the facility had raised the moral of the teachers in the local community school who are saddle with acute accommodation challenges. This was revealed by Mr. Amidu Tuko, the PTA Chairman, during a monitoring visit to the community on October 20, 2016 by the SIF and the District Chief Executive and staff of Sissala West District Assembly.
In a meeting with the community, Ms Cynthia Serwaah, a teacher, expressed the sincere gratitude of the teachers of the community for the construction of the quarters and appealed to the SIF to expand the facility to accommodate more teachers. The District Chief Executive, Hon. Johnson Saborh, disclosed that the District Assembly intends to build 12-unit compound houses to accommodate teachers in the near future. He further revealed that the District Assembly had paid an amount of GHC 689,000.00 as counterpart fund obligation for all the IRDP sub-projects in the district. He asked the community to take the sub-project as their own and make good use of it when completed.
According to the United Nations (2016), ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development. The UN indicates that, significant strides have been made in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common killers associated with child and maternal mortality. Major progress has been made on increasing access to clean water and sanitation, reducing malaria, tuberculosis, polio and the spread of HIV/AIDS. However, many more efforts are needed to fully eradicate a wide range of diseases and address many different persistent and emerging health issues.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) notes that, maternal mortality has fallen by almost 50 per cent since 1990. In Eastern Asia, Northern Africa and Southern Asia, maternal mortality has declined by around two-thirds. But maternal mortality ratio in developing regions is still 14 times higher than in the developed regions. Only half of women in developing regions receive the recommended amount of health care they need.
As part of its targets, the SDGs seek to:
- By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births.
- By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births.
- By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases.
- By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.
The efforts of the Social Investment Fund (SIF) contribute greatly towards the achievement of these targets. The construction of a Clinic with Portable Water at Kukpali in the Upper West Region is a classic example in this direction. The project which was initiated by the Mother-to-Mother Support Group in Kukpali is aimed at addressing the poor health care provision in Kukpali and the immediate surrounding communities. The nearest health facility to Kukpali is nine (9) kilometers away. However, with the poor nature of roads and the unreliable transport systems, patients are often unable to seek immediate attention in the event of emergency. Pregnant women and children are the worst affected in this situation and these have led to many health complications that could have been avoided.
The construction of the health facility therefore brings untold relief to the people of Kukpali. Community members would not have to travel long distances to access quality healthcare. With improved health of the people, the time spent on their economic activities improves as well. Again, the cost of health goes down with the proximity of the health facility. Cumulatively, as the quality of healthcare improves, so does their economic livelihood. In the long run, these add to Ghana’s efforts towards achieving the SDGs. The construction of a Clinic at Kukpalis is therefore a strategic socio-economic intervention with immense benefits to the local people and the nation at large.