Bawumia launches SOCO Project to tackle spillover of conflict and extremism from the Sahel region

Social News Bawumia launches SOCO Project to tackle spillover of conflict and extremism from the Sahel region
DEC 6, 2022 LISTEN

The Gulf of Guinea Northern Regions Social Cohesion (SOCO) Project has been launched by Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia Ghana’s Vice President in the Upper East Regional Capital Bolgatanga.


The project is expected to reach over 4,600 border-zone communities across the northern Gulf of Guinea sub-region and in Ghana, specifically 48 Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in six regions in the north will be direct beneficiaries of the SOCO project.


Out of total financing from the World Bank International Development Association (IDA) of $450 million for four countries Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, and Benin, Ghana benefitted with a share of $150 million.

Addressing the congregation during the SOCO launch, Dr. Bawumia said the project has been conceived and designed to address the effect of the spillover of conflict and extremism from the Sahel region to reduce vulnerability because of exposure to the impact of climate change, strengthen local institutions and through economic opportunities and build trust.


“It focuses mostly on border communities in these regions where the citizenry especially the women and youth are exposed to the threat of terrorism from the Sahel region. The project focuses on dealing with issues relating to conflict and violence. This is very significant as countries all over the world are pausing strategies to address these challenges in view of the anticipated worsening of the situation if the necessary interventions are not promptly instituted,” Dr. Bawumia said.

The Vice President also pointed out that the project prioritizes the needs of communities and strengthens local institutions to give the citizenry, especially the vulnerable a voice to take part in influence and play a vital role in prioritizing local investment as well as promoting social cohesion and building trust in their communities.

Meanwhile addressing the gathering at the SOCO launch, Mr. Daniel Botwe Minister For Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development also used the medium to outline below components attached to the 5-year project and what it seeks to finance.


Component 1: Investing in Community Resilience and Inclusion

(Totaling a total US$ 112.5million) – This component will finance local-level investments aimed at promoting community resilience and inclusion in border areas, based on a medium-term vision that is shared across the implementing countries. There are three sub-components namely;

a) Community investments for strengthening local resilience and inclusion (US$ 84.38M representing 75% of the allocation for Component 1) (Upgrading, rehabilitation, and/or expansion of all-weather rural roads, climate-resilient and climate-proofed water and sanitation structures, construction, rehabilitation, extension, equipping and climate-proofing of social infrastructures, such as pre-schools, primary schools, secondary schools, literacy centres, and social centres etc.)

b) Strategic economic activity investments for local economic development (US$ 22.5M representing 20% of the allocation for Component 1) (Expansion, rehabilitation, upgrading, and equipping of public local market infrastructure, including access roads, tracks, stalls, warehouses, cold chain facilities, slaughter areas, weighing devices, waste collection and disposal, parking, rainwater harvesting, and other climate-smart water and sanitation infrastructure. Energy-efficient lighting, including solar installations, will be provided to improve security at the markets, improve access to the complementary economic infrastructure under the Government’s flagship programmes, adoption of digital technologies and innovation to support LED

c) Youth engagement and social cohesion activities (US$ 5.63M representing 5% of the allocation for Component 1) (Youth mobilization, dialogue and engagement, demand-driven short-term skills training of the youth for sustainable self-employment and job creation, as well as youth infrastructure investments e.g. minor repairs, upgrading, expansion, rehabilitation, refurbishing maintenance and repurposing of already facilities; to enhance their use and functionality such as Community/ Information Centres, Climate-smart investments etc)

Component 2: Building Foundation and Capacity for Inclusive and Resilient Communities (an amount of US$ 15 million) – This component will finance various training and capacity-building activities aimed at strengthening the foundation and capacity of local stakeholders, especially in four key dimensions namely (i) Building capacity for communities; (ii) Promoting local economic development.; (iii) Supporting agency and voice of youth to help inclusion and community cohesion; and (iv) Promoting social cohesion and prevention of violence.

Component 3: Regional Coordination Platform and Dialogue (US$ 7.5 million) – Aims to strengthen regional collaboration across the four beneficiary countries to support a coherent response to prevent risks of fragility conflict and violence (FCV) and to manage climate and disaster risks in the Gulf of Guinea.

Component 4: Project Management (US$ 15 million) – This Component will support project management and coordination at the regional, national and sub-national levels for the effective implementation of project activities.

Component 5: Contingent Emergency Response Component (CERC) – This is a zero-budget component that serves as a contingent emergency funding mechanism that will be triggered in the event of a natural or man-made disaster and/or health crisis such as a pandemic through formal declaration of a national emergency, or upon a formal request from the respective Governments.

For the 2023 and 2024 fiscal years, a total amount of US$ 69,547,499.97 (i.e., US$ 21,776,250.00 for 2023 and US$47,771,249.97 for 2024) will be invested in socio-economic infrastructure and local economic development in all 48 beneficiary districts.



However, the Upper West Regional Minister Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih on behalf of other beneficiary regions expressed appreciation to the World Bank for such a novel project which he said is set to address the poverty and conflict issues which are so endemic in this part of the world.


MMDCs, Presiding members, Chiefs, and community elders from the 48 MMDAs and six regions in the north were all present at the launch in Bolgatanga.

Ngamegbulam Chidozie Stephen
Ngamegbulam Chidozie Stephen

News ContributorPage: apexnewsgh