The Zongos and inner cities have been neglected for too long. The concept of a Zongo Development Fund (ZoDF) to change the narrative of these neglected segments of the country by President Akufo-Addo was of course a dream come true.
Political cynics, when the President mentioned the concept during his campaigns, derided it contemptuously until the promise was made good.
Although some strides have been made in terms of the provision of talent-unearthing amenities such as the Astro Turfs in some parts of the Zongos, there are many areas which could trigger the game changers needed in these constituents.
It was therefore exciting and elating hearing Ben Abdallah Banda, the Coordinator of the Zongo and Inner Cities Development Secretariat (ZICDS) announce what sounded like the magic needed to trigger the positive changes in the Zongos for which the concept of a ZoDF and now the ZICDS as a supervising entity in the Office of the President, were instituted.
Entrepreneurship development among Zongo and inner city residents, education, accommodation and health insurance, which he said during a forum are what a collaboration between his outfit and a business strategy entity, Maxwell Investments Group (MIG) would champion in the Zongos, sound appealing.
The many idle yet energetic hands in the Zongos have provided quarry for bad elements who use them to perpetuate lawlessness as in land guarding and others.
It has often been said that were these young men been provided with skills they would not oblige requests to go and do the bidding of persons whose children attend some of the leading schools both locally and internationally.
The entrepreneurship development through which those who are able to pass through training regimens at the end of which they would be certificated is a brilliant concept which we think should be supported.
We consider the arrangement with a department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi to actualise the concept as a welcome development which should not be abandoned. The practice of not carrying on with projects started by others should be discouraged in this country if development is a subject we sincerely cherish.
The subject of accommodation which has engaged many a government over the years does not seem to going away anytime soon. In our Zongo communities, the challenge appears to be even more serious. The concept of supporting residents to pay the so-called one to two years advance which has deprived many a young person who have just started work is such a wonderful concept which as the Coordinator said would complement the government affordable housing programme, especially since this one would target the Zongos.
The complementary role the Secretariat would be offering through selected health insurance companies as a novelty in the Zongo communities would have a far-reaching impact on residents although awareness and education would have to precede the rolling out of the programme for the desired results to be realised.
When the aforementioned modules are rolled out conscientiously, there is no doubt in our minds that they would provide fresh layers which would change the lot of Zongo residents across the country, the entrepreneurship programme especially showing the potential of getting idle hands busy and away from evil.
Source: Daily Guide