A Secretariat for the National Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme has been inaugurated in Accra.


The office outlet is the first office space allocated to the programme since it was instituted in March 2008.


The building, worth 1.3 million cedis, is funded by the World Bank under the Social Protection Programme.


It is made of steel and consists of a Conference Room, Server Room, Data Collection and Monitoring Unit, and Offices for Co-ordinators and archives, among others. It has a staff strength of 56.


Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the outgoing Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs Nana Oye Lithur, urged the Secretariat to aid some of the LEAP beneficiaries to acquire employable skills, adding that when beneficiaries of the LEAP program acquired employable skills and were working, they could increase the household income.


Mrs Lithur said as a programme involving a total of 213,000 beneficiaries with a target of reaching 2.2million extremely poor people in the country, it was necessary that an office be established to manage it.


She disclosed that about 6,000 pregnant women and children had been enrolled onto the programme.


In a statement, the National Manager for LEAP, Mr Dzigbordi Agbekpornu, gave the assurance that with an office space in place, the staff would ensure they increased their productivity to reach their target and beyond.


Mr Agbekpornu disclosed that the next frontier for the program would be to link the program to other productive inclusive complimentary services like the Ghana Health Service to provide more education on nutrition and deepen understanding in the area of health and that able persons living with the LEAP beneficiaries would be linked to productive activities like the Japanese Project Development Fund.


The LEAP program— a cash transfer programme for extremely poor people who receive cash stipends every two months using LEAP identity cards—started in March 2008 when the first beneficiaries were paid.


Source: ISD (Chantal Aidoo)