Tamale, Friday 09 May, 2014: ActionAid Ghana, a rights-based non-governmental organization, has successfully organized a regional policy dialogue in Tamale, to build consensus on regional priorities to advance the development discourse in the Northern region.
The dialogue brought together representatives of regional development stakeholders, civil society groups, the media and other development actors across the region to develop an action plan to meet development challenges in the region.
The Country Director of ActionAid Ghana, Sumaila Abdul-Rahman, bemoaned the taste of Ghanaians for foreign products, stressing the need to “redefine our thinking about development and our individual contributions to the development process in the country.” Citing examples from poor economies such as Burkina Faso and Niger, he questioned why Ghana continues to import vegetables from countries on a lower human development index, when we are a lower-middle income economy with abundant oil and other natural resources.
Commending ActionAid Ghana’s initiative for the dialogue, the Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Abdul-Basit Fuseini, described the BECE abysmal performance in the Northern region as a funeral announcement. He noted that there is a huge development and education gap between the North and the Southern part of Ghana, which much be addressed to reverse the endemic poverty in the region. The Deputy Minister also said the bad images of conflict and disorder painted about the area are not “representative of the good-natured people in the region.”
The dialogue explored development challenges in education, particularly Kindergarten, primary and JHS education, poor agricultural extension service delivery, and the need for regional and district assemblies to develop development strategies to drive their medium term development plans. Participants developed an action plan from the wide-ranging discussions and presentations, as key outcomes of the stakeholder discourse.
At the end of dialogue, a seven member committee was formed to meet at an appointed date, to monitor the progress and implementation of the action plan, and to inform further conversations about development in the region.
ActionAid Ghana works in 6 regions in Ghana, implementing poverty eradication alternatives to empower poor people and rural communities to demand their rights and participate in the decision making processes in their communities. ActionAid Ghana is committed to a world without poverty and injustice where every person enjoys their right to life with dignity.
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