The Chief Executive of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), Alhaji Gilbert Iddi, has appealed to Ghanaians to embrace the SADA initiative as a national intervention rather than a project of a political party.
He said the perception that SADA was a project of one political party did not encourage some stakeholders to associate themselves with it in its quest to facilitate strategies to bridge the developmental gap between the northern savannah ecological zone and the southern sector of the country.
Alhaji Iddi said this at a two-day regional conference on the SADA organised by Community Life Improvement Programme (CLIP), in collaboration with the Northern Ghana Network for Development, both social–oriented and non-governmental organisations based in Tamale.
The conference, which opened in Tamale last Wednesday, brought together about 120 participants from Civil Society Organisations (CSO), the SADA secretariat, academia, research institutions, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, farmer based organisations, district assemblies and other relevant stakeholders in the northern savannah ecological zone.
Alhaji Iddi said the prevailing perception that the project belonged to a political party did not augur well for the development of the SADA catchment areas and that, all hands needed to be on deck for it to succeed.
The current government conceptualised and developed the SADA initiative, which formally began operations in 2011 to facilitate, co-ordinate and catalyse regional interventions with its statutory authority and political influence to bridge the developmental gap between the north and the south.
Alhaji Iddi said the politicisation of the SADA initiative must cease because no matter which party was in power, there would always be some intervention for the north since most governments after independence recognised the need to institute measures to bridge the developmental gap between the northern and southern sectors.
He said instead of sitting on the fence, stakeholders and other interest groups should rather come on-board and offer constructive criticisms and alternatives to improve the SADA catchment areas.
Alhaji Iddi gave an assurance that the SADA would “make monitoring mandatory in all processes and with all stakeholders” to ensure efficiency.
The President of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, Mr Mohammed Adam Nashiru, who made the presentation on the topic: “The status-quo of SADA and the future expectations of the small holder farmer”, appealed for irrigation facilities to ensure all-season farming in the three northern regions.
Mr Nashiru also appealed for the supply of certified and improved seeds to ensure good yields.
The Programme Co-ordinator of the CLIP, Mr Illiasu Adam, said the conference became necessary to update stakeholders on the implementation status of the SADA initiative.