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01.11.2002 Feature Article

The central region and its woes....

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… Leadership, leadership, and more leadership

The minister has a big task ahead of him and this should have come to light quite a while ago, when he was chasing down drivers and using his energies in useless ways. The region stands also a chance to become a very sore spot for the country. Tourism naturally will gravitate more towards the region ( its relative competitive advnatage)but rather than enhance the lives of locals, there is a danger if the folks of the region are not trained to engage in meaningful economic activities. We have heard of sex tours and this can be a reality when tourists have the potential of taking advantage of the abject poverty of folks in the region. Obviously recent news regarding porn material on the web points to some pof this happening already.

In its attempt to rebrand itself, which the region needs to do and can do, certain incentives for local industry( especially the hospitality industry) needs to be promoted together with others. The overall infrastructure needs to be right, together with getting the numerous land litigations out and dealt with. Zit is upon taking actions of this nature that maybe the region stands a chance of pulling itself by its bootstrap to achieve some reasonable level of development.

The land issue is big ,as land ownership is a very important part of wealth creation. People cannot develop any land when there is real or perceived issues with land and the regional leadership needs to address this issue now and decentralize things such that a lot of systems can be put in place to resolve such matters effectively and quickly on an going fashion. Of course on the national level this is also a problem so the central region is not alone on this issue.

As a leader, the minister can create an action committee of competent people to contribute to his plans to minimize the decay of the region.. The first step is to reach out to those who matter ( relevant stakeholders) to assist him in this effort. I believe the region has had its share of poor leadership in the past, which has contributed to many looking on as things go downhill.It is now time to reverse this.

Get the communities to see their plight and start forming grassroots operations that move towards community building. Support these efforts with the right infrastructure and financing. Come up with a plan and continue to discuss milestones freequently as the region moves towards set targets or goals.

The proposed investor plan for the region, recently inaugarated is a cart placed ahead of the horse because there are basic requirement that need to be met before any region is attractive: Roads, communication, manpower, health facilites, educational facilities, fiancial insrtitutions etc. These are all things that must be itemized and discussed in terms of their strengths and weaknesses as it pertains to the region. Once the identification process has beeen exhausted within the context of strenghts and weaknesses, then we can clearly chart a path that takes us to some destination, with all stakeholders well aware of the destination and the proposed path to get there.

If the incumbent Minister feels he is worthy of serving the region, enough talk about the obvious. Let us find solutions and continue to be tenacious and persistent about what we want to do to end this national disgrace. It does not take a genius to see what the problems are as they are obvious from visual observation. The region simply needs effective leadership and a grassroots approach to its problems. This can only happen when the leadership reaches out to several stakeholders and solicits its help in dealing with what seems to have been the norm of the past, meaning letting things run down to the point where it seems to be impossible to fix.. The region can turn its fate around but again it will require leadership and capital.

Ako Folson
Ako Folson, © 2002

The author has 58 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: AkoFolson

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