Government to Redefine Development in Northern Ghana

Government is looking to overhaul its approach to development in Northern Ghana through a new project aimed at promoting social cohesion and improving economic opportunities.
This was announced by the Vice Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, (NDPC) Hon. David Quaye Annang, at the Upper West Regional Development Forum held in Wa on Thursday, 18th January, 2024.
He gave an overview of the Gulf of Guinea Northern Region Social Cohesion (SOCO) Project, a collaborative project of the World Bank, Ministry of Local Government, and National Development Planning Commission. He said that the region has not advanced as planned because of the severe weather, a lack of coordination, and dispersed development initiatives.
"The deliberations of the SOC0 Project Scoping Report and User Forum for the Digital Knowledge Platform' by key actors is very critical since it will help to promote evidence-based decision-making for integrated and inclusive development in Northern Ghana," he stated.
The SOCO project seeks to address challenges related to conflict, extremism, climate change vulnerability, and lack of economic opportunities. It will make use of an innovative digital knowledge platform to improve coordination and information sharing.
He noted that regional consultations are underway to finalize the scoping report and knowledge platform, emphasizing the importance of input from stakeholders across the North in shaping the project's implementation.
"Our presence here today indicates our commitment as a nation to ensure that the implementation of the Gulf of Guinea Northern Region Social Cohesion (SOCO) Project becomes successful," he added.
On his part, the Minister for Minister for Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development (MLGDRD}, Mr. Daniel Botwe emphasized the critical role local authorities must play in ensuring coordinated, impactful development in northern Ghana.
He commended progress made but said interventions often remain fragmented and uncoordinated.
"I am of the view that the major challenge has been that these interventions are mostly fragmented and uncoordinated. Additionally, most of these interventions have not been tracked over the years to ascertain if the expected impact has been realised," he noted.
Botwe urged regional ministers, municipal chief executives, traditional authorities, and development partners to embrace their roles as change agents.
"Where we are today calls for us to balance global thinking with local action, aiming to extend the reach of development benefits to every household and community within the region," he said.
With the tools and political will aligning, the Minister expressed hope that the North can finally achieve enduring prosperity if local leaders commit to delivering for their constituencies.

Expert discussions on the SOC0 Scoping Study Report and the Digital Knowledge Management Platform were held during the forum, which was hosted by the NDPC in association with the MLGDRD and the SOCO Project Implementation Unit (PIU).
Experts, indigenes, academics, and professional groups were given a platform to assess the scoping report and the Digital Knowledge Management Platform and provide thoughts and proposals for enhancement.

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