Leaders of the West asked to plan region’s economic growth

Members of Parliament, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) from the Western Region have been urged to work together to strategize and plan the region’s development towards accelerated economic growth.

Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, Western Regional Minister, who made the call, expressed worry that though the region produces the bulk of the nation’s resources it is among the least developed.

He, therefore, impressed upon its political leaders to consider it expedient to jointly identify, examine and map out strategies to deal the with the problems militating against the region’s development.

The Minister made the call at the opening of a three-day retreat, organized by the Western Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) for the MPs, MMDCEs and heads of departments to deliberate on the unfortunate situation and find solutions to them. Traditional rulers also attended the retreat.

The region abounds in rich resources such as gold, bauxite, manganese, timber, cocoa, coffee and cash crops, tourist attractions, with an oil industry about to take off.

Mr Aidoo expressed concern that despite these economic contributions to the State, the region lacks modern infrastructural facilities, hospitals and schools.

The road networks are in deplorable state while the human resource base is limited, rendering the people of the area very poor.

He said the unfortunate situation had compelled the unemployed youth to venture into unauthorized businesses like the illegal mining, (galamsey) whose activities were degrading the environment.

Activities of illegal miners have also polluted the water bodies, especially rivers Pra, Ankobra and Tano which pose a threat to the health of the people.

These, he said, when unchecked, would cause many dangerous problems, including rendering the virgin forests into deserts.

The Minister said instead of the region’s enormous economic endowment becoming a blessing to the areas, it has rather created unpleasant experiences, and called on the leaders to double their efforts to reverse the trend.

Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, admonished the MPs and the MMDCEs of the region to have the interest of the people and the region at heart and champion the developmental goals to alleviate their plight.

The Local Government Minister noted that the situation called for the collaborative efforts of the political leaders, saying working in isolation would not yield any meaningful results.

Nana Bright Oduro Kwarteng, an Associate Dean at GIMPA, called for a firm policy on Local Governance that would be respected by all succeeding governments of the country.

He called for financial and logistical support from the private sector to operate efficiently to enhance economic growth.

Nana Oduro Kwateng announced that for students in the regions and other areas have access to professional courses, the GIMPA has plans to open a branch in the Western region to be sited in Sekondi.

Madam Emelia Arthur, District Chief Executive for Shama, entreated his colleagues to identify the needs of the various districts and find solutions to them in phases.

Source: GNA

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