Government yet to release seed fund for SADA
Dr Sulley Gariba, Development Policy Advisor has expressed concern that government had not released the seed fund of GH¢250 million it promised for the start of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA).
He said the passage of the SADA Act, Act 805 required that the seed fund be paid to the SADA Secretariat for the implementation of the policy, which aimed at bridging the poverty gap between Northern and Southern Ghana.
Dr Gariba was addressing a public sensitisation forum on SADA in Tamale on Wednesday organised by SEND-Ghana, with support from other non-governmental organisations like Oxfam and Christian Aid on the theme: “Making SADA work for all.”
The forum brought together stakeholders from Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
Dr Gariba said the interim management of SADA is waiting to see if the 2011 budget would capture the seed fund for immediate implementation of the policy.
He said SADA is in consultation with donor agencies and some entrepreneurs including a South African company, which intends to invest in a sugar cane manufacturing factory.
The Development Policy Advisor said one of SADA’s objectives is to improve on the ecological and economic conditions of the Northern sector and reverse the vulnerabilities to advantages.
He said some social interventions such as the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty and the Ghana School Feeding programmes, which were introduced to address problems associated with vulnerability, had turned to disadvantaged the poor.
Dr Gariba noted that the climatic conditions in the Northern sector needs to be reversed through agricultural green revolution aimed at reducing poverty from 62 per cent to 20 per cent.
Mr Moses Bukari Mabengba, Northern Regional Minister, disabused the minds of those who thought SADA was not going to work, saying it had moved from being a campaign promise to an Act of law, which would hit the target areas for people to feel it in their lives.
He said the government was on track in delivering its Better Ghana Agenda and nothing will destruct the pursuance of the thematic areas leading to the realisation of the plan.
Dr Hakeem Wemah of the Northern Development Forum, urged people from Northern Ghana particularly the youth to take strategic positions through education to be able to fill positions in the country’s oil sector.
He cautioned the government to ensure that SADA is not politicized adding: “If you employ somebody through political means, another political party would kick them out.”
Dr Wemah expressed concern about the continuous cutting down of shea trees for charcoal, saying the practice affects the production of the cash crop.