The Minister of Inner City and Zongo Development, Dr Mustapha Abdul Hamid, has called for tolerance as the government rolls out more development programmes in Zongo communities as a way of bridging the gap between the rich and the poor.
At a press launch of the maiden Zongo for Peace and Development (ZOPAD) in Kumasi yesterday, he said the promotion of peace was a key ingredient to trigger development.
He, therefore, urged Muslims, especially those residing in the Zongos, to cherish peace and eschew violence.
Dr Abdul-Hamid announced that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was expected to open the conference in Kumasi on January 8, 2018.
The conference is expected to gather Muslim chiefs, Imams and key players in Zongo communities to discuss government’s development agenda.
Dr Abdul-Hamid said the ministry was set up purposely to engender development and bridge the gap between the inner cities and Zongo communities.
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"To ensure this development, residents of the various Zongo communities must learn how to live in peace and harmony,” he added.
Dr Abdul-Hamid noted that the Zongo communities were mostly made up of people with different cultures and religion, which sometimes created misunderstanding and conflicts.
"These differences in the communities can help foster development if we learn how to cooperate and understand one another," he said.
He observed that some practices such as brotherliness, which was considered sacred in the Zongo communities, were gradually being lost.
"To reverse the narrative and negative stereotype of Zongo communities as violent habitats, the residents must all come together to live in peace in order to attract developments," he said.
He said throughout Ghana’s history, the people of Zongo had been instrumental in the growth and prosperity of the country.
"The Zongo communities have been able to produce some prominent and responsible people for the country.
We believe that residents of Zongo communities today owe it to these people to relive the excellent qualities that have enabled them to engrave their names, not only on monuments, but also in the hearts of men and women”, he said