SADA gets $18m boost to transform three Northern Regions

The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), is to benefit from an $18 million facility from the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom (UK) to start a Millennium Villages Project (MVP), in 2012.

The DIFD support for SADA is the result of President J.E.A. Mills’ personal intervention through Professor Jeffery Sachs, a renowned development expert and Director of the Earth Institute of the Columbia University.

The MVP, which will begin on a pilot basis, will cover portions of the West Mamprusi District in the Northern Region and the Builsa District in the Upper East Region will benefit 30,000 people.

During a meeting with President Mills in New York Thursday, on SADA and the DFID’s support, Prof Sachs commended the President for the prudent manner in which his administration had managed Ghana’s economy as well as the country’s development agenda.

He lauded the close attention that President Atta Mills was paying to bridge the development gap between northern and southern Ghana, as well as the strong commitment to sending development to the hinterland.

“Mr. President, you have shown a lot of personal commitment towards developing the northern part of Ghana and this project will go a long way to support the accelerated development of the north” he said.

Professor Sachs said the unanimous decision by the IMF to support Ghana’s bid to secure the $3billion Chinese loan facility was because the world was watching Ghana’s growth agenda with very keen interest.

“Ghana has a great opportunity to take-off into real economic development and the IMF is ready to support you every step of the way”, he said.

“Ghana’s accomplishment up to this point is very phenomenal and the world is watching closely”, he added.

The SADA was established by an Act of Parliament , SADA Act 2011, Act 805, to bridge the development gap between the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone (NSEZ) and the rest of Ghana.

SADA’s strategy is aimed at developing a diversified and resilient economic zone in the north.

The strategy has five main components of modernisation of the agricultural sector, private sector development, the development of strategic infrastructure, climate change protection and resilience and livelihood protection.

Within 20years of its implementation, the programme is expected to double the income per head (per capita incomes) of residents of northern Ghana and reduce the incidence of poverty to 20 per cent.

Its operational areas cover the Upper East and Northern regions and the districts of Tain, Kintampo South and North,Pru, Atebubu Amantin and Sene in northern Brong Ahafo and Krachi West and East, Nkwanta North and South in the Volta region.

The authority is governed by a nine-member board of directors and its operations are supervised by the Office of the President.

Prof Sachs is expected to visit Ghana on January 7, 2012 to start collaborating with the University of Development Studies (UDS), which is going to be a key partner in breathing life into the MVP.

After the initial work has been done, Mr. Andrew Mitchelle, Head of DFID, and UK Secretary of State for International Co-operation, is expected to visit Ghana in March next year, for the major launch of the project.

Responding, President Atta Mills thanked Professor Sachs for the critical role he played in getting the IMF to support Ghana’s $3 billion loan facility from China.

He said his pledge to make 2011 an action year had ended positively with the country successfully securing the $3 billion facility which would fast track Ghana’s infrastructure expansion and job creation.

The President said his administration would ensure that the confidence reposed in Ghana by the IMF was not abused.

“What has happened is historic and there is no way we will abuse the confidence and trust that the IMF, China, and all our development partners have reposed in us” President Mills said.

He said Ghana had reached a critical point in its development plan and he will seize the moment and lead the forward march onto a higher pedestal.

“We cannot afford to fail and I assure you that we shall not fail” the President said.

Source: Daily Graphic

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