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22.09.2004 Regional News

Dce expresses concern about activities of some international Ngos

By GNA

Elmina, Sept. 22, GNA - The Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) District Chief Executive, Nana Ato Arthur on Tuesday, expressed concern that some international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as CORE, were painting dismal pictures about happenings in Ghana, to the international community.

He said for instance, at the just ended second 'World Urban Forum' held in Barcelona, Spain, from September 13 to 17, which he, the DCE attended, officials of CORE, produced a documentation, which portrayed that residents at Fadama in Accra, were being driven forcibly away, thereby rendering them homeless.

Nana Ato Arthur, expressed these concerns when he briefed newsmen about the objectives of the forum, which was among other participants, attended by about 600 mayors and 170 ministers of state, from both the developed and developing countries, under the theme, "crossroads of cultures; inclusiveness and integration".

It was aimed at providing a platform for government officials, urban planners, civil society and ordinary citizens, to debate and discuss the problems and possibilities of cities, against the backdrop that by the year 2015, it is envisaged that about 70 to 75 per cent of peoples would migrate to urban centres.

It therefore, dwelt on topical issues like slum upgrading, local economic development and tourism.

According to the DCE, such NGOs, make false presentations, just to enable them procure funds from donor organisations, and said he and the Mayor of Accra, Mr Stanley Nii Adijri Blankson, who also attended the forum, had to step in to set things straight. Touching on the objectives of the forum itself, Nana Arthur, expressed optimism that Ghana could take more advantage of some organisations within United Nations, and source more funds from them, for accelerated development.

He mentioned some of such organisations, as the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) and UN Habitat.

According to him, what the country needs, is a "strong focal" person, who could present the requisite and acceptable proposals to such organisations, for more funding, for enhanced housing projects, environmental protection programmes, as well as tourism. Asked if he had any proposals in mind to benefit his district in particular, the DCE said he plans to present a proposal for the improvement of a slum area in Elmina, known as Ayisa, as a means of raising the living standards of its residents.

Nana Arthur noted that there was also the need to repackage the tourism industry, to make it more attractive, both locally and internationally.

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