Traditional Bodies in the North Must Strive To ‘Own’ Projects

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Over the weekend, government cut the sod to lay an infrastructure that will underpin a comprehensive programme of vibrantly linking the South to the North and the Sahel in improving lives and livelihoods.

The massive infrastructure to be constructed by Trans-Volta Logistics Corridor will be integrated into the national road and rail network in eventually relieving the Volta Region and northern regions of naked poverty.

In addition, it will propel them into vibrant regional and local economies that also feeds into the Africa Continental Free Trade Area initiative.

The sheer volume of economic prospects and variety of opportunities encapsulated in the project therefore elicits hope in an otherwise gloomy stretch.

The last time we attempted such a mission as a nation, we invested politics, instead of competence and commitment, resulting in graft and further impoverishment of dozens of communities from the Volta and Middle Belt up to the Northern Regions.

Since then, traditional rulers have been yearning for the day when the North will be considered part of Ghana in terms of socio-economic opportunities and infrastructural development.

Considering the fact that the northern regions are breadbaskets of crop and livestock, including rice, maize, sorghum, soya, vegetables and yam as well as cattle, guinea-fowl, goats and sheep, we need no one to claim that such an initiative has been long overdue.

Be that as it may, the initiative by the government deserves commendation, especially because of its linkages in opportunities in the sub-region, and connectivity with larger Africa Continental Trade Area vision.

From production and marketing through haulage, warehousing and lake and rail transport, the project can take several ancillary sectors, including ecotourism and processing on board.

More importantly, the initiative will offer opportunities for the banking and insurance sectors to explore possibilities in e-commerce and cross border transmissions, cutting out the headache of bandits attacking women traders majority of who carry cash on them, and who end up being robbed and raped by these bandits across the Savannah and Sahel.

Aside of that, DayBreak also believes it will help bring together local partners in improving the crop and livestock distribution sectors in more formalised trade activities.

We must admit, however, that between sod-cutting and implementation, political accidents, contractor roguery, delays as well as plain political intrigue happen in much the same way as SADA was inflicted on this nation.

While the grand initiative commenced in notes of hope, it was to be plagued with official complicity in naked rape of resources to the detriment of the aspirations of millions of constituents and population segments.

It is in that regard that DAYBREAK would urge religious and traditional leaders as well as local civil society in that stretch not to relent in lawfully agitating for early commencement as well as timely completion.

Beyond that, too, we would expect that they strive to own the sleek project by supporting and maintaining it to create jobs for their kids and women and improve quality of life in the region in reducing migration to the Middle Belt, Kumasi and Accra, Takoradi and Tema.

For those of us waiting for that much-hyped rebound, this should indeed be the beginning of the rebound magic.