THE PRESIDENT of the Volta Foundation, Mr. Raymond Okudzeto has challenged the people of the Volta Region to rise above politics, if they want to improve on their living conditions and change the slow pace of development in their communities as well as change their destiny.
He noted that this could be achieved if only the people were prepared to mount pressure on any government in power to be accountable and responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people.
Mr. Okudzeto threw the challenge at the 1st anniversary celebration of the Volta Foundation and the launch of a magazine called the Volta Messenger at Hohoe last Saturday.
He announced that he and his wife have donated 100 million cedis to assist in mapping out a new strategic plan for agriculture in the Volta Region adding that in the next six months, the Volta Foundation would set up a micro credit scheme to assist farmers and small scale entrepreneurs with start up capital of one billion cedis.
Mr. Okudzeto cautioned Voltarians to change the negative mentality of sabotaging any development project being executed by citizens from the Region; an attitude which, he noted, has eaten very deep into the society and contributed to the under development of the Region.
He noted that the Region needs a master plan, which would give a structure “on how we progress. This the Foundation will embark on and then like other successful projects, we will have a road map for the future”.
He said efforts were being made for a Spanish agro-industrial group to establish a sugar cane processing project at Sogakope and lamented that a letter written to the Ministry of Finance two years ago in relation to the project was not replied to; hence the investors who were willing could not start the project.
Mr. Okudzeto said Volta Foundation would soon embark on a project to find out the greatest needs of the people in the Region as well as the level of development projects implemented by the government to enable his organisation to effectively plan in order to avoid duplication of projects.
The American Ambassador to Ghana, Pamela Bridgewater who was the special guest of honour, commended Volta Foundation for its efforts to help improve on the living standards of the people in the Volta Region.
She noted that the 80 page magazine which would be published after every three months would help promote education and attract Voltarians outside the Region to be abreast with developments and help them contribute towards development at home.
Ms. Bridgewater said the programmes of Volta Foundation would go a long way to change the economic fortunes of the Region and pledged her support towards the activities of the Foundation.
Contributing, a Minister of State, Ms Elizabeth Ohene expressed regret that some of the people in the Volta Region continued to label the Region with negative things as if there was nothing good that could be derived from the Region.
The Minster therefore asked the people in the Volta Region to learn from others what they do not know and give praise where it is due in order to make the Region a shining star in the country.
She noted that such practices paint a black picture about the Region to the outside world and that they would be accepted in the same manner they see themselves adding that there was the need to positively present the Region to those outside the Region.
“The people in this Region have negatively presented themselves and the popularity they gained was that they are seen as backward and inward looking people. It is not good”, she noted.
Ms Ohene said that the people in the Region would not dance to any musical tune at social functions unless to songs associated with poverty and deprivation, which was an indication that Voltarians normally associate themselves with poverty.