Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia
VICE PRESIDENT Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has launched a US$150 million project that will improve on small businesses and livelihoods in six deprived regions of Ghana.
The project, dubbed, ‘the Gulf of Guinea Northern Regions Social Cohesion (SOCO)’, is aimed at tackling socio-economic activities in communities, as well as strengthening local resilience and inclusion in the six beneficiary regions in Ghana.
The beneficiary regions are the Upper West, Upper East, Northern, North East, Savannah and Oti regions.
The SOCO project is a multi-national development initiative valued at US$450 million. It is being funded with a credit facility secured by the Government of Ghana from the World Bank and will be implemented in selected regions in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Togo and Benin. Out of this amount, Ghana is benefiting US$150 million.
Speaking at the launch at Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, Dr. Bawumia noted that the project has come at the right time as it sought to facilitate the creation of more small and medium-scale businesses as well as improving family incomes and livelihoods in the beneficiary communities in the six selected regions.
He called on the World Bank to as well show some interest in investing in the Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam since that project had the potential of creating many small and large agribusinesses to employ the youth in Ghana.
He said, “We will soon be engaging with the World Bank to help facilitate this magnificent project that has the potential of changing numerous lives in the area. So, Country Director, we will soon be coming.”
According to the Vice President, government’s resources and efforts alone could not address all the challenges and provide all the needed interventions, for which reason government appreciated external supports, as well as initiatives by local investors to improve on livelihoods and the local economy.
The Country Director of the World Bank in Ghana, Pierre Frank Laporte, though acknowledged the Vice President’s call, called on beneficiary communities to be apt on the SOCO initiative to achieve all the benefits that came with it.
He was hopeful that many more lives would be improved as small and medium-scale businesses would find their path to sustainability.
In Ghana, the SOCO Project is being implemented under the Local Government Ministry to address many development challenges including food insecurity and climate change, and conflict and violence.
Speaking at an earlier stakeholder orientation workshop in Bolgatanga, the Minister of Local Government, Decentralisation, and Rural Development, Daniel Botwe, noted that the focus would be to address youth unemployment and socio-economic challenges facing the selected districts in the regions.
FROM Ebo Bruce-Quansah, Bolgatanga