Volta Region launches $250m development plan
A five-year US$250m Volta Economic Development Plan (VEDP) was on Tuesday night launched to bring real improvements that would change the lives of people of the Volta Region and, by extension, lives of Ghanaians.
The focus of this ambitious plan is to move from strategy building to strategic planning of services, systematic evaluation of performance, delivery of sound financial administration, projects implementation and proper management of human resource to build a more prosperous and healthier society taking into consideration the diversity of local communities.
Dubbed the “Pathway to Prosperity” the plan, which spans 2009 to 2014, is a brain child of the Agbogbomefia of Asogli state, Togbe Afede XIV, who also used the occasion to launch a commemorative fifth anniversary book of his ascension to the stool, titled “Making the Difference”.
Vice President John Dramani Mahama, who launched the plan, said sustained economic growth was the most potent force required to fight against poverty and the elimination of misery and hardships among the people.
Mr Mahama said even though the country had seen much improvement over the years in economic fundamentals and successful implementation of socio-economic reforms, the benefits had not trickled down to the majority of the people.
He said in view of this the government was pleased that the Volta Region had developed the VEDP with the involvement of all stakeholders, including the young people in the region, to bring change in the lifestyle of the people and also act as facilitators for social accountability.
“Government welcomes the emergence of the first Regional Economic Plan as it seeks to complement our efforts and other development agencies in their efforts to build the Volta Region as a place where our young people will choose to stay and work instead of opting to relocate elsewhere.”
The Vice President said there was a pressing need for profound changes and bottom-up solutions to the problems of endemic and systemic poverty in all other regions of the country adding that government was committed to decentralizing development and to empower local people to take up the responsibility of self-development.
He congratulated Togbe Afede for the sterling and inspiring leadership qualities that he had brought to bear not only on the Asogli state, but the entire nation.
“Indeed, his achievements for the past five years, which are not exclusive to Asogli state, are very great,” the Vice President said.
Togbe Afede said through the initiation and successful implementation of the plan, the chiefs were marking a new beginning for the Volta Region.
“We are taking a bold step towards a stronger acceptance of our responsibility to facilitate the realization of the development aspirations of our people,” he said and called on sons and daughters of the region to support the initiative.
Togbe Afede said the plan was inspired by the belief that the development of the nation was a shared responsibility, and that the traditional authorities, who are closest to the people, had an important role to play in realizing it.
He said the 2009-2014 Plan was the first step towards mobilizing the chiefs and people of the region for a collective assault on poverty and deprivation.
He said it might sound ambitious but anything far short of it would not make the desired impact and that the more difficult a task was, the more one needed to bring to bear all the resources, emotions and intellect at his disposal to muster it.
Togbe Afede said any other plan which would come after the expiration of the VEDP would be implemented by a newly established Volta Region Development Agency.
Mr Joseph Amenowode, Volta Regional Minster, commended Togbe Afede for the initiative and pledged the Regional Coordinating Council’s commitment to ensure its success.
The event was attended by chiefs, the clergy, opinion leaders and people from the Volta Region, friends of the region from other parts of the country and all over the world including some of Togbe Afede’s friends from Nigeria and China.