Accra, Jan. 27, GNA - Mr Yaw Barimah, Eastern Regional Minister designate, said on Thursday that the social effects of HIV/AIDS could have serious economic dimensions, which would eventually slow down national development.
He noted that every nation needs a strong and healthy people for its development, hence the need to educate the public on the pandemic, which had so far defied the efforts to contain it. Mr Barimah was answering questions when he took his turn at the vetting of ministerial appointees by the Appointment Committee of Parliament.
He noted that the 8.3 per cent prevalent rate of HIV/AIDS in the Eastern Region is the highest in the country.
"The rate at which it is growing is very alarming and we have to intensify our education especially in our schools and churches with the youth as our target.
"We must tell them of the suffering and pains HIV sufferers go through as well as the financial cost that goes with it".
The Minister-designate urged the Krobos, Akans and Guans who inhabit the Region to forge unity to facilitate development.
"Lets work hard... to restore the pride and image of the Region and its capital Koforidua to its former good old days."
He said water supply to the capital was not regular, and this deters potential local and foreign investors "to revive the commercial activities for the growth of Koforidua".
"I will adopt an aggressive marketing policy to attract investors as well as help small and medium scale enterprises such as agro- processing, garments and textiles to grow."
Mr Barimah said sports was an important tool for national development and urged the district assemblies to contribute towards the second phase of the rehabilitation of the Koforidua stadium, which would soon begin.