Prof. George Gyan-Baffour and Dr. Alhaji Abdel-Majeed Haroun with other dignitaries in Tamale
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched a Human Development Report on Northern Ghana entitled: “Bridging the Poverty Gap and Fostering Socio-Economic Transformation for all”.
The report explored development challenges and opportunities in Northern Ghana and offers suggestions for poverty eradication in the zone.
The Northern Ghana Human Development Report (NG-HDR) is based on a study that investigated livelihood issues relating to health, education and infrastructural gaps, as well as governance and environmental issues.
The findings suggest that the pattern of poverty in Northern Ghana is changing. It revealed that though the northern zone has witnessed good development over the years, more effort is required to transform the zone for the country to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 1 which aims at eradicating poverty in all its forms everywhere.
The report recommended the need for a coordinated stakeholder approach to address development gaps in road infrastructure; in information, communications and 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.
The report suggested massive investments in infrastructural development and recognizes 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, investment in warehousing, cold chains and processing infrastructure will help increase value additions and reduce post-harvest losses to facilitate industrialization in the zone.
Moreover, the report emphasizes the importance of resource mobilization and equitable allocation to help address the human development deficits in Northern Ghana to ensure that ‘no one is left behind’. The report therefore calls for strong partnerships among stakeholders to leverage synergies and ensure that local people are empowered to benefit and to drive transformation in the zone.
On the sideline, the Assistant Country Director, UNDP, Mr. Louis Kuukpen, told DAILY GUIDE that the report tries to estimate the health and educational conditions of the region, including the standards of living.
According to him, the human development index of Ghana is about 0.5 but the human development index of the Northern Region is about 0.1 indicating that the poverty levels and the conditions of living in the region are low.
The assistant country director said there is a perception that the north is poor but also the north has potentials such as agriculture, irrigation and human capital and that should be the focus point.
The launch was held at the University for Development Studies (UDS) under the auspices of the Honorable Minister of Planning, Prof. George Gyan-Baffour, and Dr. Alhaji Abdel-Majeed Haroun, the Chief Executive Officer of the newly established Northern Development Authority (NDA).
FROM Eric Kombat, Tamale