|Prez John D. Mahama, Ghana|
FROM TUESDAY March 24th – 28th, Tamale will host the first ever SADA Business and Investment Forum (SABIF 2015) aimed at facilitating and promoting multi-stakeholder investment policy dialogue and business match-making opportunities.
Organised by the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) in partnership with the Ghana Institution of Engineers (GhIE), the forum is designed to fast track the Northern belt of Ghana into an era of unprecedented growth.
A high point of this event is the high level dialogue session to be chaired by His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama with other global speakers drawn from the fields of engineering, civil society, banking, investment and business.
Some of the global high profile speakers include Dr. Victor Koh from Singapore, Dr. Ken Kwaku, formally of Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency of the World Bank Group and former Senior Advisor to President Mkapa of Tanzania, Dr. Charles Abugre, CEO of SADA and Dr. George Donkor, Vice President of ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development. Overall, 13 international and local development/business experts are expected to speak at the forum.
|Alhaji A.B.A. Fuseini|
The Deputy Northern Regional Minister Alhaji A.B.A. Fuseini, who launched the upcoming event in Tamale last week, noted that the advent of SADA had brought about huge respite and the necessary impetus needed to accelerate socio-economic growth in the northern belt of Ghana.
Alhaji Fuseini who is also Member of Parliament for Sagnarigu Constituency, urged all stakeholders to continue to dialogue on the prospects and the way forward for SADA to find easy ways to deal with issues that would bring about development in the SADA zone.
Under the theme: “Engineering Opportunities and Shared Prosperity in the Savannah Region of Ghana”, SABIF is transactional in nature and is expected to nurture and to broker home grown investment opportunities in areas such as agriculture, agro-business and infrastructure.
The primary objective of the forum is to contribute positively to the process of business and investment co-operation and ensure that commitments from transactions at the forum are translated into concrete actions by SADA officials and private sector participants.
The forum will bring together private sector champions, business leaders, local and international investors, development partners, traditional authorities, ministries, departments and agencies, local government, civil society, youth groups and citizens to dialogue, network and promote business and investment opportunities for the accelerated development of the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone (NSEZ).
Programmes Director of SADA Dr. Emmanuel Abeere-inga, explained that the forum will consist of plenary sessions, business exhibitions by private sector players in agriculture, agro-processing, banking and finance, renewable energy, construction and tourism and business-to-business match-making sessions.
The forum, he said, will culminate into the establishment of SADA Investment Council that will carry on the task of deepening and enhancing business ties between the private sector, government institutions and traditional authorities in the SADA zone.
|Dr. Abeere-inga, SADA|
Dr. Abeere-inga further explained that, participants will have information and ideas on best practices for investment and business development within the context of area development as well as create a perfect setting for several high level business to business match-making investment deals to be brokered, initiated and probably sealed at the end of the forum.
He said it will also offer participants opportunity to contribute to an action plan for enhancing business climate reforms across the SADA zone with particular focus on establishing an investment-friendly environment and incentives for local and international businesses.
SADA, a government policy initiative established by an Act of Parliament (Act 805, 2010) is aimed at addressing the development gap that exists between Northern and Southern Ghana. SADA’s mandate is to accelerate the socio-economic development of the NSEZ through strategic investment in resource development.
It envisions a “Forested North” by 2030, where agricultural production is modernised and oriented towards a larger market. It seeks to benefit citizens of the NSEZ which include the Upper West, Upper East and Northern Regions as well as parts of the Brong Ahafo and the Volta Regions.