Vice President John Dramani Mahama, on Monday gave the assurance that Government would continue to source funds for the provision of basic social amenities, to improve the living conditions of people in the urban areas.
He explained that, currently 53 per cent of Ghanaians lived in the urban areas, a figure he said was likely to increase to 67 per cent by 2030, and there was the need to provide services to meet the ever increasing population.
Vice President Mahama gave the assurance when he launched the €40.5 million Ghana Urban Management Pilot Project (GUMPP) at Ho, the Volta Regional capital.
GUMPP, which is supported by Agence France Development (AFD), would be piloted in Kumasi, Tamale and Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolis, and the Ho Municipal Assembly, to promote a comprehensive city-wide approach to urban issues within the framework of the draft National Urban Policy and its action plan.
Under the initiative would ensure the implementation of urban development programmes such as provision of lorry parks, ultra-modern markets, water, sewerage and sanitation issues, enhance the revenue collection capacity of local governments and increase strategic planning, local management and internal organization of local administration.
Vice President Mahama said apart from providing infrastructure in the pilot areas, the project would also help streamline the haphazard planning of major cities of the country and avoid perennial waste and poor sanitary conditions.
He announced that the project, which would be executed within five years, would be replicated in other cities after successful implementation in the pilot cities.
Vice President Mahama called on the beneficiary cities to make judicious use of the resources to encourage their development partners to support other projects.
He appealed to market women in the Ho Municipality, who allegedly demonstrated against Government for failing to provide them with a modern market, to exercise restraint and rally behind Government to successfully implement the GUMPP, which would include an ultra-modern market in the area.
Mr Ford Kamel, Volta Regional Minister, said that the Ho University for Science and Allied Sciences would enroll the first batch of students in September this year, and that Government was taking the necessary measures for its smooth take off.
He said the establishment of the University would not only benefit the people of the region, but the entire country and the West African Sub-Region and called for support so that Government could achieve its goals.
Mr Frederic Clavier, French Ambassador to Ghana, said France had been supportive of Ghana’s Public Sector Reforms, and promised to provide more resources in the coming years to build the capacities of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and the decentralization programme.
Mr Bruno Leclerc, Resident Manager of AFD, said the group had already provided GH¢22 million for the decentralization programme, to build the capacities of assemblies through the Community-Based Rural Development Project.
Vice President Mahama inspected on-going development projects in the Ho Municipality, including the projects of the Ho University for Allied Sciences.