|Dr. Charles Abugre|
The acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), Dr. Charles Abugre has launched the SADA Zone Media Review Platform, with a call on the media to play a critical role in the acceleration of development in the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone (NSEZ).
The SADA Zone Media Review Platform is to bring SADA and its key partners and the media together in every quarter to review the activities of SADA and update journalists on any new projections by SADA in respect to the development of the Zone. The platform would also afford all partner organisations of SADA, the opportunity to brief the media about their activities and the role they play in the implementation of SADA’s agenda.
Launching the platform at a media sensitisation programme organised by the Private Journalists Association of Ghana (PJA) with support from SADA, Dr. Abugre further implored journalists not to hesitate to draw the attention of management of SADA to developments they also found inappropriate in the implementation of projects.
The media sensitization programme brought together over 50 Journalists from the Upper West, Upper East, Northern, Brong Ahafo and Volta Regions to sensitize them on the mandate of SADA and achievements made so far by SADA. It also provided an opportunity for participants to gain a better understanding of how they could utilize their unique positions as agenda setters, to strategically and consistently give balanced and accurate reportage about the activities of SADA.
The President of PJA Edmond Nana Gyebi, said the SADA Zone Media Review Platform was mooted by the Association to create a symbiotic relationship between SADA and the media, so that together, they could push the SADA agenda forward.
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He also observed that despite the numerous developmental projects SADA had undertaken, majority of the people living in the SADA Zone had in the past been kept in the dark. This, he attributed to the total breakdown of information flow between SADA and the public as well as the media.
He appealed to journalists to further suggest innovative ways of helping SADA to transform the NSEZ. He also made a passionate appeal to employers and private media owners to take critical look at the salaries and the general conditions of service of their employees and provide them with the needed tools to work.
Undoubtedly, Northern Ghana has the highest percentage of people living in extreme poverty, with more than 60 percent of the population living on less than US$1 a day. The region’s environmental, epidemiological and geographical challenges including low agricultural productivity, a high disease burden rate and high transportation cost makes villagers who are the most vulnerable to live in extreme poverty. This means that to collect safe drinking water and firewood for domestic use, people must walk several miles every day.
With these rural communities trapped in a poverty web, they are unable to make the investments in human capital and infrastructure required to achieve self-sustaining economic growth.
Based on these facts, SADA, a government policy initiative established by an Act of Parliament (Act 805, 2010) is aimed at transforming the NSEZ. 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.