Middle Belt Development Authority launched

The Middle Belt Development Authority, a vehicle to be used by the government to fast track the socio-economic transformation of the Eastern, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions, has been launched in Kumasi.

Ten-member committees each for the Eastern, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions have also been inaugurated to implement an Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP).

The launch of the authority was in fulfilment of the manifesto promise of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) to establish three development authorities to spearhead the development of the three ecological zones.

They are the Southern Development Authority that will address development challenges in the coastal, Central, Western and Volta regions; and the Northern Belt Development Authority that will take care of the development of the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions.

Launching the authority, the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, said the zoning was in line with the ruling NPP’s campaign promises and towards the implementation of the ‘one-district, one-factory’ pledge, the ‘one village, one dam’ initiative and the $1m for each constituency policy.

He said the government needed to prepare well for a good take-off in order not to be embarrassed by challenges that could arise with the fulfilment of its campaign promises.

“Most of these programmes and projects require legal backing and, as I speak, documents have been submitted to Parliament for the implementation of the IPEP and the establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

“We came to power on the wings of unemployment and the authorities are to work towards creating employment for the youth,’ he added.

In connection with the realisation of its policy objectives and vision, Mr Osafo-Maafo said, the government would only play a facilitator role, instead of directly involving itself in the implementation of all those projects.

IPEP

He urged each member of the committees to identify investment potential, infrastructure deficiencies and share knowledge for the realisation of the objectives of the programme.

The Minister of Special Initiatives, Ms Mavis Hawa Koomson, said the programme would not only eradicate poverty but also help address inequalities in all forms.

The Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Simon Osei-Mensah, said since the NPP was a centre-right party and did not frown on wealth creation, the committees should empower individuals to make wealth and contribute towards national development.

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