The District Chief Executive (DCE) of the Ahafo Ano South District in the Ashanti Region, Mr Joseph Agyemang Dapaa, has stated that the assembly is working towards making Mankranso a commercial hub in the area.
He has, however, solicited the support of assembly members from all corners of the district to make the plan a reality.The DCE who was addressing the first ordinary meeting of the assembly at Mankranso said his office was committed to the provision of a modern and vibrant market as part of strategies to create a livelihood for the people in the area and even beyond.
He noted that most times, the people had to travel to the regional capital for commercial activities and that establishing Mankranso as a commercial centre would reduce or take away that burden.
"It is my expectation that we at the assembly should be able to provide a one-stop shop marketing opportunity for our people to access the basic necessities of life without having to travel to Kumasi virtually every day for those needs", he stated.
That, to him, would facilitate cash generation in the district to grow the local economy which is one of the biggest commitment of the government.
"I have already started certain contacts to set in motion the agenda to achieve this dream. I know there are a good number of well-meaning citizens of this district who can assist in this direction through private investment. It is only when Mankranso which is the district capital is transformed into a commercial hub that we can get an accelerated growth and development as a district," he added.
He noted that the district had about a 248 kilometre stretch of engineered roads, most of which are in a very bad state.
He further noted that bad roads created inconveniences to residents of the area and negatively affected farmers in their efforts to cart foodstuffs from the farm to market centres.
He said under his administration, the assembly would ensure that the two major trunk roads in the districts were surfaced with bitumen within the shortest time possible, and that works on the Fawoman-Sabronum and Wioso-Mpasaso roads would be quickly done.
Mr Agyemang Dapaa said the assembly had identified about five potential areas that could be explored in the establishment of citrus, cassava, palm, maize and tomato factories.
He hinted that the assembly had the assurance of the Ministry of Trade and Industry to complement all efforts of the assembly at attracting investors to partner the government to make implementation of the “One-district, One-factory” a reality.
Housing & Social Intervention Programme
The DCE said since the creation of the district in 1998, there had been the lack of decent housing facilities to accommodate public workers posted to the area, as such most workers lived outside the district and had to commute to its capital on a daily basis.
That he said was a setback and that the assembly was examining the kind of investment that would improve the housing situation for workers.
Social intervention programmes, such as the School Feeding Programme Mr Agyemang Dapaa said, was operational in 16 schools in the district, employing 16 caterers with 4,013 pupils benefiting from the programme.
Even though the payment of caterers was still in arrears of about 123 days, arrears for about 70 working days had been paid. He gave the assurance that the government was intensifying efforts to settle the outstanding arrears and scale up the programme.
He said while a total of 2, 172 from 873 households were beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme, about 167 youth had been engaged by the Youth Employment Agency.
On the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), he said, the district had a subscriber base of about 56, 454 clients but decried the situation where service providers had not been paid since April 2016.