Dr. Emmanuel Abeere-inga, Director for Integrated Development Programme of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), has said the authority would raise $5 billion to transform the Savannah ecological zone as part of its master development plan.
He explained that $2billion of the amount would be raised from the public sector while $3 billion would be from the private sector, stressing that Arms and Young, an international investing organization, had already expressed interest and is ready to assist in raising funds for the projects.
Dr Abeere-inga disclosed this in Tamale on Thursday during a sensitization workshop organized by the Civil Society Organization Platform on SADA in collaboration with SEND-Ghana.
The workshop, which aimed at deepening CSOs’ understanding of SADA’s master plan, was attended by CSOs from the Northern, Brong Ahafo and Volta Regions and funded by Ibis and Oxfarm, both NGOs.
Dr. Abeere-inga said SADA was putting together a comprehensive development plan that would lead to the development of extensive agricultural productivity, adding that: “We will put 200,000 hectares of land into cultivation of a variety of crops”.
He assured beneficiaries of the area that the master plan would execute ambitious projects, stressing that it had various components including education, health, agriculture and infrastructural development.
The director said 23 major dams and 95 minor sites had been identified for construction in the 25-year implementation period of the master plan, noting that it would create various jobs in the formal and informal sectors to reduce unemployment drastically.
Dr. Abeere-inga indicated that when the project is aggressively implemented, per capital in the savannah ecological zone would be increased from below $1000 to over $3,500 which will lead to an economic growth rate of 12 per cent per annum.
He stressed that the SADA master plan was integrated into the National Development Planning Commission’s 40-year development plan, and gave the assurance that all political parties had bought into the idea.
He said the Tamale Metropolis and the Buipe township in the Central Gonja District had been identified as major trading hubs and would be developed into model cities to attract investors, adding that water, rail, air and road transportation would be given a major boost.
Mr. Theophilus Dokurugu, Convener of the CSO Platform on SADA, commended the authority for developing such an ambitious plan to accelerate the development of the area, stressing that such a strategic plan was a plus to the new management at SADA.
He said the platform would continue to collaborate and offer the necessary assistance to ensure the realization of the objective of SADA.
“We are going to do more advocacy for the implementation of the master plan for the benefit of the people,” he added.
Mr. Dokurugu however expressed worry over the slow pace of passage of the Legislative Instrument (LI) for SADA, stressing that it was affecting its financial standing, and appealed to the authorities to ensure its passage in good time.