The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has called for a coordinated stakeholder approach, massive investment in infrastructure and agricultural sectors as a baseline to enable the country achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“To ensure inclusive growth, the report recommends the need for a coordinated stakeholder approach to address development gaps in road infrastructure, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), education and healthcare delivery, youth unemployment, energy access, data gaps for development planning, gender inequity, as well as high climate change impact on agriculture and livelihoods.”
These were contained in a statement, signed and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga by Ms Praise Nutakor, a Communication Analyst of the UNDP on a UNDP Human Development Report on Northern Ghana.
The report, which would be launched on August 17, 2018 in Tamale in the Northern Region by Professor George Gyan-Baffour, Minister of Planning and Dr Alhaji Abdel-Majeed Haroun, the Chief Executive Officer of the newly established Northern Development Authority is titled “Bridging the Poverty Gap and Fostering Socio-Economic Transformation for all”.
The report, which is the second regional report conducted by the UNDP in collaboration with the University for Development Studies (UDS), the University of Ghana and the Northern Development Authority (Savanah Accelerated Development Authority) explored development challenges and opportunities in Northern Ghana and offered suggestions for poverty eradication in the zone.
Even though, the report acknowledged the good development the zone had received over the years, it stated that for the country to achieve the SDGs, particularly goal one which aimed at eradicating poverty in all forms everywhere, stronger partnerships among stakeholders to leverage synergies and ensure that local people are empowered to benefit and drive transformation in the zone is required.
“The report suggested massive investments in infrastructure development and recognised the importance of complementing the Government’s “One Village One Dam Initiative” to boost agriculture production in the northern zone. It highlights how improvement in road and water transport networks; and investment in warehousing, cold chains and processing infrastructure will help increase value additions and reduce post-harvest losses, to facilitate industrialisation in the zone.
“Moreover, the importance of resource mobilisation and equitable allocation to help address the Human Development deficits in Northern Ghana to ensure that “No One Is Left Behind”, is emphasised by the report.
“To improve quality education and healthcare delivery, the Human Development Report recommends innovative Public Private Partnerships to facilitate access to housing for health and education staff to attract and retain staff in the education and health sectors, especially in rural communities in the northern zone.
“In addition, the report identifies the promotion of conservation and climate change adaptation best practices including; tree planting to reduce soil degradation and promote water conservation particularly along streams and waterways, encouraging local community seedbanks and nurseries, and scaling up agricultural extension services to support farmers.” The statement indicated.
According to Ms Gita Honwana Welch, UNDP Ghana Country Director, Northern Ghana Human Development Report, which covered the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone, including; the Upper East, Upper West, Northern Region and some parts of the Brong Ahafo and the Volta regions, like other Human Development Reports produced by UNDP, provided baseline information on areas requiring development attention.
“The findings and recommendations from the report are to inform and shape policy decisions that will propel transformational development in the north”. Ms Welch noted.