Business News of Friday, 18 December 2015
Board chairman of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), Adam Sulley, says the Savannah Ecological Zone is the new growth frontier — which requires aggressive and sustained investments from both the public and private sectors to fast-track national socio-economic development.
Speaking at the launch of the 20th Ghana International Trade Fair in Accra, he said continued neglect of the zone covering 54.4 percent of the country’s surface area with its vastly untapped potential is a “waste” that is holding back the nation’s growth.
He said: “The SADA Zone, which is the largest part of the country, has seen little attention regarding business opportunities and investments; this is a waste holding back the nation’s development, something we cannot afford.
“The zone is currently the new frontier for investments and development, and we must be able to transform it through production and trade. But this will come on the back of strong commitment to the potential for growth — especially in irrigation, industrial development and basic infrastructure.”
This year’s fair is on the theme ‘Two decades of international trade fair in Ghana: Exploring business opportunities in the SADA Zone of Ghana’, and is expected to attract between 400-600 exhibitors from all sectors of the economy.
The 12-day fair will provide the avenue for both domestic and foreign investors to identify viable business opportunities in the savannah region of the country, particularly in the areas of infrastructure, agro-processing, energy, water transport and tourism.
Mr. Sulley said of the fair: “This is the right platform for attracting increased investments toward development of the country’s savannah region, and it is in line with strategic repositioning of the SADA.
“It is a positive step in bringing the SADA area to international focus, and we expect that most of the visitors to the fair will be investors looking for investment opportunities in the region.”
According to the SADA boss, the authority is being repositioned to facilitate and promote public and private investments into one by investing extensively in information-sharing and other strategic plans aimed at transforming cities and rural economies as well as the delivery of effective services.
The SADA Zone boasts some six million hectares of arable land for agricultural production –specifically the commercial production of grains, sugar cane and cassava. The area is also a haven for production of cotton, shea and livestock.