The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has sworn in members of the governing boards of the Coastal, Middle Belt and Northern Development authorities, as well as the board of the Zongo Development Fund (ZDF), at the Jubilee House in Accra.
Inaugurating the boards yesterday, the President explained that the establishment of the development authorities was in fulfilment of a manifesto promise the New Patriotic Party (NPP) made to the country in the run-up to the 2016 general election.
In addition, he said, the inception of the development boards was in conformity with the determination of the government to commence a new pattern of development in the country.
He noted that the development pattern the country had embarked on over the years had not addressed the fundamental challenges it was confronted with, hence the decision by the government of the NPP to resort to a paradigm shift.
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“We have made the commitment to attempt a new paradigm — a bottom-up approach to the development of our nation. It will be necessary, therefore, that the manner in which capital expenditure of our various budgets has hitherto been spent is done in a different way.
“We will appropriate from the capital budgets of our country a certain amount of money that will go to the development authorities to enable them to tackle the issues of development at the grassroots,” the President said.
He said the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives had conducted a needs assessment survey across the 275 constituencies in the country and the same challenges in respect of road infrastructure, sanitation and education remained the basic problems that confronted the various localities.
“We are doing this because we believe that if these authorities succeed in their tasks, it will enable us to have a much more evenly balanced development of Ghana,” President Akufo-Addo added.
He told the authorities that the pledge of the equivalent of “one million dollars per constituency” would be the money that would be at their disposal to be able to meet the objectives for setting them up.
On the rationale for the establishment of the ZDF, the President explained that the need to make a special intervention in inner cities and zongos was as a result of the “manner in which the development of our nation had been organised”.
That, he explained, necessitated the establishment of the fund, the target of which was to address the specific needs of the community.
He expressed confidence in the quality of the expertise of the people on the various boards of the authorities and the ZDF and charged them to work in unity to achieve the tasks before them.
On behalf of the members of the boards, the Chairperson of the Coastal Development Authority Board, Mr Edmund Annan, assured President Akufo-Addo of their commitment to the task, as well as their determination to help address the development challenges that the various boards should tackle.
He said it was an acceptable fact that one could not continue to do the wrong thing and expect a different result and called for the support of all towards the realisation of the desired goals by the development authorities.