strong> A two-day workshop has been held for planners within the Western Region to equip them with relevant information on the Local Economic Development (LED).
The Workshop organised by the Western Regional Coordinating Council (WRCC) would enable Planning Unit Committee members and officers from the various Districts, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies in the Region target at restructuring towns and zonal councils within the Assemblies to meet emerging international standards.
Addressing the participants, the Regional Chief Coordinating Director, Mr Atta Adjei said the development of Assemblies had evolved into a contemporary system where the District planners spearheaded initiative rather than relying on the central government to determine economic development within the local areas.
Dr. Kwabena Koforobour Agyemang, a resource person, educated the participants on the concept of LED as an emerging wheel for economic growth.
He said countries like China, Dubai and USA have already advanced on the concept and stressed that LED was a participatory process, which employed indigenous resources and ideas, modified with technology to enhance local commercial activities that would generate a strong and sustainable economy.
He further stated that LED had become necessary in recent times to build the economic abilities of localities within the Assemblies for improved standard of living, reduction in poverty and economic sustainability.
“LED has become strategic in increasing productivity and competitiveness of local businesses as well as positioning towns for investment”.
Dr. Agyemang pointed out that cities or towns were in competition with each other, therefore the execution of key projects like roads, hospitals, electricity, good communication network, together with good human capacity could attract investors and give one city an advantage over the others.
In this regard, Dr Agyemang indicated that there was the need for branding of cities and zonal councils within the Region.
He said, “every district should prioritize adding value to raw materials or tourist sites they have. Quality should not be downplayed because cities are competing with each other”.
The Participants raised concerns about the difficulty in land acquisition for developmental projects, which posed a threat to creating branded cities.