‘Zongo Reality Sustainable’
The Minister for Inner-City and Zongo Development, Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, has hinted that, his Ministry will focus on Infrastructural Enhancement and Sanitation, Economic Empowerment, Social Development, Cultural Promotion and Security and Crime Control this year, as part of its action plan.
In his view, these interventions will transform the Zongo Communities, and take away the negative perceptions people have about Zongos and open them up for more business investments and development.
The Sector Minister, like many others, bemoaned the long neglect of the Zongo Communities, adding that, no particular government should be blamed for this neglect, hence the need for all to contribute towards the development of the Zongos.
“In the past, Zongos were just a temporal resting places for strangers who are travelling through a town. Today, Zongos are found in the heart of towns and no longer temporal places for strangers. They have become permanent dwelling places for people of various socio-economic and religious backgrounds. … it is heart-warming to note that, the Zongos are not just charity destinations; they also have a number of business opportunities for the private sector in the areas of Waste and Sanitation, Micro-finance, Entrepreneurial development, Real Estate.”
The Minister was speaking at a sensitization on the Zongo Development Fund and stakeholders' consultation forum in Bolgatanga to solicit inputs into the Zongo Development Fund Bill, to be laid before Parliament for approval and subsequently passed into law.
According to him, the process of engaging the leading figures in the Zongo is very important to the development and sustainability of the Zongo Development Fund and all the projects and programmes associated with the Fund.
“While the NPP was in opposition, we promised to establish a Zongo Development Fund, but in power, the NPP has gone beyond just establishing a Fund, to establish a Ministry to see to the development of the Zongos. … the vision of the President, is for the people living in the Zongo communities to feel part of the development of the country.”
He noted that the Zongo Communities have become very important communities and cannot be ignored in the development of the country, because it is the home for many people, who have the potentials of contributing meaningfully to the development of the country.
“Development in this country over the years have been discriminatory against the Zongos. This Ministry has come to help to improve the Zongos up to the state of other suburbs of the towns they find themselves. Developing the Zongos is not a rhetoric; it is a reality.”
The Upper East Regional Minister, Rockson Bukari, called on the leadership of Zongos in the region to talk to their people, to live exemplary lives, so as to take away the negative perception the public has about Zongo.
“It is good that the NPP government has decided to develop the Zongos across the country, but it will be up to the people living there to also justify the decision to set Zongos aside for a special attention and investment.”
Similar events were held in the Upper West Region, as well as Bawku, in the Upper East Region, to cover the five districts under the Bawku Traditional Council.
From: Ebo Bruce-Quansah, Bolgatanga