Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has launched the Medium-Term Development Strategy for Northern Ghana (MTDS) to create economic growth and improve the livelihoods of the people in the area.
The MTDS, which will be implemented within the next five years (2022 – 2027), focuses on promoting socio-economic growth and climate change adaptation whilst unlocking the potential of the northern savannah ecological zone by building synergies of actors, and building the resilience of the people to create wealth and restore the environment.
It has six thematic areas, which include accelerating human development in northern Ghana through access to quality social services, promoting private sector actions capable of delivering broad-based and inclusive economic growth in northern Ghana by 2025, sustaining livelihoods by promoting capacity development across local communities on land governance, biodiversity conservation and climate justice by 2025 amongst others.
It was developed by the Northern Development Authority (NDA) in consultation with stakeholders including development partners, the private sector, various stakeholders in northern Ghana, and is aligned to the government’s Medium Term Development Framework (2022-2025).
Dr Bawumia, in an address to launch the MTDS at the Northern Ghana Development Summit in Tamale, said the issue of northern development was now a national security issue in view of the terrorist activities in the Sahel, which were coming towards the country.
The Northern Ghana Development Summit is an annual convening platform that brings together state and non-state actors including institutions and individuals to assess, discuss and recommend actions to accelerate the progress of development in Northern Ghana.
This year’s Northern Ghana Development Summit, which was a two-day event, also featured an investment fair to highlight private sector development needs, opportunities and game changing investment projects captured in the MTDS as well as exhibition of products and services by businesses and corporate bodies.
Dr Bawumia said “This is because conflict tends to thrive where there is poverty, deprivation, exclusion where terrorists take advantage to try to recruit people. The development of northern Ghana is important to protect Ghana against terrorist threats that we are seeing from the Sahel.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to develop northern Ghana, citing some of the government’s policies, projects and interventions undertaken in the area, saying “The inclusive policies and projects implemented thus far by the government speak to this.”
He underscored the need for peace and security at all levels of society for development to thrive, urging “Our revered Chiefs in northern Ghana to use their traditional cultural linkages and ties, which are based on partnerships, and collaboration to mobilise the energies of the youth and women to embrace this strategy and to work in oneness with NDA and Development Partners to implement this strategy, “leaving no one behind”.
He commended the NDA for coming out with the MTDS and organising the development summit expressing hope that “The Authority will go beyond this fair and take concrete steps to improve the business climate of northern Ghana, create opportunities for the youth and spur growth at all levels and in all locations.”
Dr Bawumia also expressed gratitude to the Development Partners for their technical support so far, saying “Your inputs and suggestions have contributed to enriching the strategy. I am hopeful that as always, you will commit resources for the implementation of this strategy and actively participate in driving this process to deliver as one and leave no one behind.”
Mr Charles Abani, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Ghana said despite the challenges “We must not relent in our efforts but reorient public and private investment towards the Sustainable Development Goals and adopt investment strategies that drive continuous commitment towards an inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and economic integration.”
Mr Abani assured that “We, your international friends, will assist in identifying inclusive business and service delivery and capacity building approaches and models that improve access and capabilities, access to service, ensure durable peace and economic transformation and expanded productive opportunities including through facilitating access to business, social and financial services, especially for the marginalizsed and women.”
He expressed the need to leverage on e-commerce and digital technology to create more jobs for the teeming youthful population, which would provide them with higher quality of life.
He assured that “We will continue to support the three pillars of the Government of Ghana’s vision which are peace and security, economic growth, and social development.”