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Six new regions,What next?

BY: Daily Graphic
Minister designate for Regional Reorganisation and Development, Mr Daniel Kwaku Botwe
Minister designate for Regional Reorganisation and Development, Mr Daniel Kwaku Botwe

In 1978 when The Third World version of the song, "Now That We Found Love", written by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, was released by Island Records, it peaked at number 10 in the UK and #47 on the Billboard Hot 100 because of the burning question it posed.

Many music lovers at the time and even now enjoy the song because of the question Gamble asked: Now that we found love, what are we gonna do?  

During the 2016 electioneering, the two main political parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), promised to create new regions following requests from the chiefs and the people of parts of the country.

It was, therefore, not surprising that on assumption of office, the NPP government set up a commission of enquiry which toured the areas to be affected and submitted its report to the President, the acceptance of which report culminated in the referendum of December 27, last year in which the people overwhelmingly voted for the new regions to be created.

So it is that Ghana currently has 16 regions, up from the previous 10, the new ones being Oti, Bono East, Western North, Ahafo, Savannah and North East.

The Daily Graphic is posing the question: now that we have the new regions, what are we going to do?

We are full of hope that the creation of the new regions will lead to the fulfilment of the expectations of the people who ‘fought’ for their creation.

We acknowledge the efforts of the government in putting in place the necessary infrastructure and manpower, first with the nomination of people to serve as regional ministers and the establishment of regional coordinating councils (RCCs).

Speaking after he led a delegation to visit Damongo, the capital of the Savannah Region, the Regional Reorganisation and Development Minister, Mr Dan Kwaku Botwe, said RCCs for the new regions had been established and that they would begin work by the close of the month.

It is good news that the government is taking steps to ensure the smooth tak- off of the infant regions.

The creation of the new regions has been the desire of the people of the affected regions for years because of their desire to ensure the rapid development of their areas.

Many proponents for the creation of the new regions argued rightly that needs, rather than expediency, ethnic considerations, socio-economic, cultural or historical factors, had to be considered and that more regions would be more beneficial to the people.

They argued that Ghana, having started with three colonial regions or territories, would not have seen as much development if the three were left the same till now.

We note that as population expands, many more need factors emerge.

 Educational and health facilities, social amenities and many more have to be created to serve the populace.

Since these amenities are sometimes not adequately created under heavy centralisation of projects, it stands to reason for the system to be further decentralised to achieve this and bring governance to the doorstep of the people.

With the government showing the goodwill and doing what is expected of it, the people of the newly created regions must reciprocate by doing their bit to ensure that the new regions succeed in bringing about development and improvement in the lives of the people.

What is required now is that all hands must be on deck to nurture the new regions.