Northern Regions are Deprived Areas, not Poverty Endemic
The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr. Boniface Gambila says rather than being areas where poverty is endemic, the three Northern Regions are victims of deprivation caused by man-made circumstances.
He made the statement when the Ambassador of the United States, Ms. Pamela Bridgewater, paid a courtesy call on him at the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) during a day's working visit to the Region.
The courtesy call afforded the Ambassador and the Regional Minister the opportunity to interact on developmental issues in the region and how to improve upon them.
Mr Gambila blamed the deprived nature of the three Northern Regions to the unfair policies of the British colonial masters towards the then Northern Territories.
Northerners, he noted, were being used as cheap labourers both on the farms and at the war front by the colonial masters.
Mr. Gambila explained that based on this, the Colonial masters, totally denied Northerners secular education and provided more educational infrastructure in the southern sector to the detriment of the three Northern Regions.
"The gap of education between the South and North dates back about 200 years," he emphasised, adding that this was the major cause of deprivation in the area.
He noted that the three Northern Regions abound in natural resources such as gold, diamond, rocks, and sheanuts. "The citizens of these areas are also versatile in basket weaving and undertake tomato and maize farming".
He said the only thing that was lacking was how to support and empower the people to enable them to extract the natural resources in the area.
He stated that the lack of interest of investors in the regions was another major problem contributing to the deprived nature of the three regions.
Mr. Gambila announced that plans were far advanced to use the White Volta River for the cultivation of varieties of crops, including maize and tomatoes all year round.
The United States Ambassador said she was in the Region to ascertain the level of development of the area and to see at first hand how the Self-Help projects funded by the Embassy were doing.
She assured the Regional Minister that the Embassy had a vision of expanding its projects in Education, Agriculture and the Health Sectors in the country of which the Upper East Region would be among the regions to derive greater benefits.