Ho, Sept. 30, GNA - The maiden two-day Volta Congress, a platform to stimulate the region's private sector growth and chart a new and accelerated socio-economic development of the region has began in Ho, with a call on the indigenes, to wage a relentless war against poverty, ignorance and disease.
Togbe Afede XIV, Agbogbomefia and President of the Asogli State Council, who made the call, in an opening address, urged the people of the region to unite to confront the urgent developmental challenges, for an accelerated socio-economic growth.
He reminded the people that government alone could not shoulder the responsibility for development and appealed to the people to embrace the Congress concept of wealth creation and generation.
"Time has come for citizens to become the architects of their economic destiny as heaven helps those who help themselves," he said. Togbe Afede said the region abounds in limitless development opportunities, which should be exploited to advantage through hard work, unity and collaboration.
Mr Kwasi Owusu-Yeboa, Volta Regional Minister, whose speech was read on his behalf, urged the Congress to draw linkages with government to consolidate a holistic development blueprint for the region. He noted that land tenure system, ownership, access and title to land administration, which impinges directly on development, were a drawback to development in the region, which he said should be addressed.
Mr Owusu-Yeboa pledged the support of the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) to the noble initiative of socio-economic empowerment of people from the doldrums.
Togbega Gabusu VI, President of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs, who presided, wondered why the people were impoverished in the face of the region's abundant human and material resources.
He called for a pragmatic orientation towards harnessing these resources to benefit the teeming unemployed youth in the region.
Meanwhile, two key initiatives, the 10 billion cedi Volta Development Fund to support the development of the region's socio-economic infrastructure and a 20 million dollar Volta Venture Capital Fund to assist in the development of small and medium scale enterprises would be launched tomorrow, October 1, 2004.
The strategic Congress is under the auspices of the Asogli State Council, the Volta Forum Trust in collaboration with the Volta Regional House of Chiefs, and being attended by over 200 participants drawn from industry, academia, traditional authorities and heads of decentralised departments.
The Congress is on the theme: "Harnessing Resources for an Accelerated Development of the Volta Region."
Papers to be delivered include Key Investment Opportunities in the Volta Region by Mr Alex Ashiagbor, former Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Keta Sea Defence Project- Development Opportunities, by Torgbui Kporku, Dufia of Alakple and Consultant on the project.
Others are Salt Mining and Processing by Dr. Austin Asamoah-Tutu, Chief Executive Officer of Design Forum, Tourism Opportunities, by Mr Kwesi Agbley, Tourism Consultant and President's Special Initiative (PSI) on Garments by Nana Tweneboa Baoteng, a Coordinator of the PSI.