The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Mark Wayongo on Tuesday asked communities in the region to discuss and identify the potential sources of conflict to help them develop a database on it.
He stated this during a two day workshop on the theme; “Sustainable Peace for Sustainable Development,” organised by the Tamale Ecclesiastical Provincial Pastoral Conference of the Catholic Church and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, a German Political Organization working to promote political development and good governance.
The workshop, which targets the youth, political parties, civil society organizations and heads of department in Sandema in the Builsa District, was aimed at changing the people's attitudes to embrace positive actions that bring peace for sustainable development.
The Regional Minister noted that it was only when people were armed with information on the potential sources of conflicts that they could attempt to nip them in the bud before they escalated.
He commended the two organizations for organizing the workshop and asked the participants, especially people in conflict prone areas, to ponder over the rippling effects conflict had on the people and development.
Mr Wayongo cited the Bawku conflict, where government had to spend monies that could have gone into development, on peace keeping.
Mr Wayongo lauded the Catholic Church for contributing to the spiritual, economic and social needs of the people especially in the three northern regions and said the Church was the first to introduce formal education to the people in the area.
He said that contribution undoubtedly gave past and present generations the access to formal education which put the people in a better stead to contribute meaningfully to development of the regions.
He stated that the Church had also contributed significantly in the area of healthcare delivery, development of agriculture, provision of potable water and micro-credit facilities to people especially women and the vulnerable all aimed at alleviating poverty.
Mr Wayongo lauded the idea of the Church to engage in civic education and said this would impact positively on the people to contribute to the political and social advancement of the nation.
He said the government had initiated a lot of pro-poor policies through the establishment of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), Shea-Nut Board and subsidies on prices of agricultural inputs adding that these policies would become illusive if there was no peace.
Mr Isaac Owusu-Mensah, Senior Programme Manager of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung said for the past 43 years, the organisation had been working with the Christian Mothers Association on development issues, Ministry of Interior on security issues and the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana on Human Rights Issues.
He said it also worked with the Ministry of Regional Cooperation and NEPAD and the Africa Peer Review Mechanism Governance Council on development policies and the Private Enterprises Foundation on corporate governance issues.
Mr Owusu-Mensah appealed to the youth not to engage in violence to satisfy any politician and said the workshop would help equip them to confront any leader who would want to exploit them to accomplish his or her selfish ambition.