Star Ghana Foundation in partnership with the Northern Development Authority has held a consultative meeting with regional Ministers of Northern Ghana, Planners and some CSOs ahead of the 2021 Northern Ghana Development Summit (NGDS).
The meeting was to enable participants to make inputs into the proposed concept notes of the 2021 Northern Ghana Development Summit (NGDS) and deliberate on its funding and sustainability concerns.
The Northern Ghana Development Summit is an annual convening platform that brings together state and non-state actors, including institutions and individuals onto one forum to assess, discuss and recommend actions to accelerate the progress of development in Northern Ghana.
The NGDS is a rebrand of the Mole Series which was initiated in 2001 by the Regional Economic Planning Officers in Northern Ghana to coordinate the economic planning and transformation of the Northern sector and to jointly influence both political actors and development partners to invest in development projects in the North.
Executive Director of the Star Ghana Foundation, Ibrahim-Tanko Amidu in a presentation indicated that peace, stability and security are essential for development to thrive in every society.
He indicated that the fragile economy and livelihoods, and limited access to social services makes Northern Ghana face the risk of instability and insecurity, driven by internal and external factors.
Mr. Ibrahim-Tanko Amidu expressed worry over the increasing violent extremism in the Sahel regions, which he said has implications for Northern Ghana in particular and Ghana as a whole and the increasing inequality and poverty in parts of Northern Ghana.
He noted that “to this end, the 2021 Northern Ghana Development Summit will focus on three areas; ie- promoting peace and stability in Northern Ghana, fighting inequality and eradicating poverty on a sustainable bases in the North and also looking at how to institutionalize the Northern Development Summit so that it becomes part of the development agenda in Ghana which will provide the basis for coordinated development of the North”.
A Deputy CEO and interim management committee member of the Northern Development Authority Mr. Stephen Engmen urged chiefs from Northern Ghana to “find a way of working together and speak with one voice”.
According to him, this will enable the Chiefs to attract the needed development to Northern Ghana, arguing that Northern Ghana has a common enemy, which is poverty.
“We are in difficult times now, as we all know COVID-19 is still around and public funding is dwindling and this is not only in Ghana but across the world so it is important for the North to come together so they can speak with one voice and demand what is due them in unionism”.
Mr. Engmen indicated that there were several opportunities within agriculture, energy, and tourism in Northern and are yet to be exploited and “these are areas that can provide the jobs and bring the needed development to Northern Ghana”.
Upper West Regional Minister, who is also Dean for the five regional Ministers in the North Hon. Dr. Hafiz Bin Salib commended Star-Ghana Foundation and the Northern Development Authority for their efforts in driving the development agenda of the North.
He pledged the support of regional coordinating councils within the North to the 2021 edition of the NGDS and called for the institutionalization of the summit to offer partners the opportunity to discuss the development agenda of the North.