Mrs. Evelyn Ama Kumi-Richardson, the Bono Regional Minister, has given the assurance that she would work with all key stakeholders to ensure that the people of the region get their fair share of development, especially in the areas of health, education and infrastructural development, among others.
She is therefore appealing to the media to step up their efforts at publishing stories that would inure to the benefit of the good people of the region and also endeavor to provide feedback to her outfit on various issues of mutual concern.
The Minister was interacting with the media in Sunyani as part her series of meetings with various stakeholder groups across the region.
She had already met with staff of the Bono Regional Co-ordinating Council and is currently touring all the 12 districts in the region to meet with chiefs and opinion leaders, community members, and also inspect progress of work on the numerous infrastructural projects being undertaken in the region.
The Minister said she would work hard to ensure that the various socio-economic programmes being implemented by the government achieve the expected results for the benefit of people.
She mentioned some programmes such as the Free SHS, Planting for Food and Jobs campaign, the Nation Builders’ Corps, One-Village One-Dam, One-District One Factory, and Planting for Export and Rural Development initiative.
Mrs. Kumi-Richardson, who is the first female Regional Minister for the area, said she hopes to see the Bono region as a place where there is less conflicts and “more unity”, adding that, “progress and development can only be attained through unity."
“It is our surest way of benefitting from the massive development this government has to offer the people of Ghana and by extension the Bono region. Let all of us be forward looking and forget the things of the past and forge ahead for the development of our people and not for our selfish interest, " she stressed.
According to her, the tourism potential in the region is enormous and that what is required is the right leadership and effective collaborations among state actors to attract the needed investment in the sector.
“As the Regional Minister, I will provide such leadership by facilitating interactive platforms between the District Assemblies and the Ministry of Tourism (working through the Ghana Tourism Authority) to assess the economic viability of the numerous tourism potentials identified for possible public-private partnerships,” she emphasised.
The Minister identified illegal timber logging, chieftaincy and land disputes as well as the way Radio talk shows are conducted as some of the key challenges militating against peaceful coexistence and development in the region.
On illegal timber logging, Mrs. Kumi-Richardson stated that the Regional Security Council will step up its efforts at bring the situation under control.
Chieftaincy and land disputes, she maintained, have had adverse effects on the socio-economic development and also have serious security implications.
The regional minister called on the Regional House of Chiefs and other stakeholders to fashion out strategies toward finding amicable and lasting solutions to them.
On Radio Talk-Shows, the Regional Minister was appalled by what she described as “intemperate and foul language” used on radio programmes listened to by millions of people.
“I wish to use this platform to impress upon the management of the various FM radio stations to ensure that their hosts moderate the talks of discussants and contributors to their programmes,” she intimated.
She added, “it is also important to note that the abusive language often used on the airwaves does not help the course of peace. It must be avoided at all times. There must be decorum at all political discussions at all our radio stations to ensure that peace prevails.”