Human Development Report on Western Region launched
The report, the first-ever to be developed in the country, notes that the opportunities generated by the resources in the region would have to be managed in ways that would accelerate progress in human development for all the region’s citizens, especially for attaining the Millennium Development Goals.
It also shows the people the region’s commitment to a sustainable and equitable development by confronting head-on, major challenges in climate change, gender disparities, labour force matters, maternal health and sanitation issues.
It draws attention to the uniqueness of the region’s resources, poverty levels and infrastructure development.
Launching the report, the Western Regional Minister, Mr E. K. T. Addo, thanked the United Nations (UN) and the UNDP for choosing the Western Region as their first port of call in the preparation of the first regional report in Ghana.
He said the choice of the region signified a recognition of its efforts and contributions to the socio-economic development of the country.
‘Sustainability and equity have always been the guiding principles in the region’s quest for development. As such, over the years, successive medium-term national development policy frameworks, sector and district development plans, all aimed at reducing poverty, tackling health, education, income, gender and other disparities for the well-being of our people, have been developed,’ he said.
Mr Addo said the quest to improve livelihoods had led to the depletion of the forest cover and other environmentally unfriendly actions.
According to him, the report is consistent with the government’s agenda, as it focuses on prudent macroeconomic management, employment creation, environmental sustainability, provision of health, education and utilities and poverty reduction.
The UN Resident Co-ordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Ms Ruby Sandhu-Rojon, said the objective of the report was to stimulate the debate that the region’s natural resources could be used to develop its human resource.
She added that since there was no previous statistics on human development in the region, the report would serve as an indicator and basis to ascertain how much progress the region would make in its quest to improve the life of its citizens.
She said the report had made it imperative for the leaders of the region, the co-ordinating council and the traditional councils to gather courage and determination to start discussing and asking questions on how to develop the human resource in the region, which would include how to implement the recommendations of the report.
Ms Sandhu-Rojon stressed that the focus of the report was on starting that debate.
She said although the region had seen immigrants from other parts of the country coming in for jobs, as a result of its rich natural resources, there were many instances where the indigenes left the region in search of jobs.
Ms Sandhu-Rojon added that the region faced infrastructure problems and limited access to health and education and that the water bodies were polluted by illegal miners.
She stressed the need for the implementation of appropriate policies for the region to grow.
She said the UNDP supported the report because it would help address the development challenges of the region.
By Kwame Asiedu Marfo & Andrews Tetteh/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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