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Western Region Human Development Report launched

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Mr. Paul Evans Aidoo, Western Regional Minister, on Thursday launched the Region’s Human Development Report that was produced by the Regional Coordinating Council and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

It was launched at a two-day opening session of the first Regional Human Development Forum The two-day forum that was on the theme: “Human Development in Ghana’s Western Region : Managing Development Opportunities for a secured future”.

Mr. Aidoo said the need to compile such a report on the Region was long overdue, because medium development plans prepared by Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies for their areas mostly focused on physical infrastructure.

He said the report, which sought to fill a wide gap in the medium term plans of the assemblies would provide comprehensive and credible basis for policy makers to track the impact of resources, including oil and gas exploration and exploitation on the well-being of the people.

Mr Aidoo said this initiative would involve the establishment of a credible baseline data as the country continued with the exploration and exportation of oil and gas to give clues to policy analysts to comprehensively digest on the varied dimensions of human development in the Region.

He said the poverty profile of the Region as indicated in the report, was paradoxical as remarkable progress has been made in some sectors to decrease poverty.

Mr Aidoo said development encompasses poverty levels, unemployment, poor road networks and food insecurity.

He said the report indicated that most families in the Region had limited access to land for investment and other farming activities adding “As a result, there is high incidence of poverty among food and cash crop farmers although cash crop farmers fare better than those engaged in food crop farming”.

Mr Aidoo gave the assurance that government was making frantic efforts in ensuring that the exploitation of minerals and other resources in the Region have direct positive impact on human development through creation of jobs, improvement in businesses provision of infrastructure and services such as roads energy, education and health.

He said government was building more schools to improve education in the Region since the overall performance of the area in the education sector was below the national standard.

Mr Aidoo said more than 70 school projects have been completed in the Region.

Dr. Grace Bediako, Government statistician, said all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies would be provided with adequate information about the population and housing characteristics as well as community facilities of the country.

She said there was the need for the establishment of data and statistical teams to provide the assemblies with relevant population indicators and analyses for effective planning, monitoring and evaluation of programmes.

Dr Bediako said surveys have been planned as part of the implementation of the Ghana Statistical Development Plan.

Ms Ruby Sandhu-Rojon, UNDP Resident Representative and Resident Coordinator of the United Nations (UN) in Ghana, said the Region needed to focus on the theme of the conference.

She said identifying and understanding the development opportunities of the Region was fundamental to human development in the area.

She said the report would serve as a resource for key stakeholders including District Assemblies and Traditional Authorities, to enhance community dialogue, avert conflicts, programme interventions and improve monitoring and evaluation.

Source: GNA

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