The Out-going Western Regional Minister, Dr Kwaku Afriyie, on Friday, exchanged handing-over notes with the incoming minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah at the residency, at Sekondi.
Dr Afriyie had served as Western Regional Minister for two years.
Speaking at the ceremony witnessed by heads of departments and metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives, Dr Afriyie said that his tenure was marked by successes as the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) helped to maintain peace, security and order and thanked members for their supports and collaboration.
‘I have been very lucky working with people such as the REGSEC, I had good relations with members. Indeed, I had a successful tenure, apart from the Ghana Household Utilities Manufacturing Company (GHUMCO) gas explosion and the kidnappings, security has been very good. Even in the GHUMCO incident, we rose to the occasion with all the hospitals providing good support to ensure that no life was lost,” he stated.
Dr Afriyie thanked that Western Regional House of Chiefs for good advice and wise counsels and applauded the Abusuapanyin of the House, Awulae Ageyfi Kwame, for his friendship, adding ‘I am most grateful to you, Nananom.”
Mr Darko-Mensah pledged to build on the foundation laid by his predecessor, adding,“ this is a great opportunity to take over from Dr Afriyie who has contributed so much to the development of the Western Region.”
He hinted that he would continue to work for the Western Region to become a strategic growth pole in Ghana’s development, as he roped in civil society, private sector, government agency and departments, stressing “we need all hands on deck.”
Significantly, he indicated that entrepreneurship would become the driver to tap the potentials of the youth while the private sector becomes the partner in increasing productivity and infrastructure.
These pillars, he said, would rest on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the potentials of the youth.
“We want to make the Western Region a model for other regions to emulate—we will bring on board all stakeholders including the media. I will operate an open-door policy and work with all manner of persons including the political parties to ensure the social and economic development of the area.This is the time to develop the Western Region and make Ghana great and strong.” Darko-Mensah said.
The Deputy Regional Minister, Mrs Gifty Eugenia Kusi, hoped the new Regional Minister would continue the good works of Dr Afriyie.
The vice chairman of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, Awuale Amihere Kpanyili, noted the contributions of Dr Afriyie to the development of the region, the supports and friendship he gave to the House, saying “we thank you for your understanding, devotion to duty, indeed, you are an asset to the country.”
Welcoming the new minister, he mentioned that chieftaincy had a role to play in governance and democracy, assuring that the House would always operate an open-door policy “to share ideas with you so that you continue with the good works of Dr Afriyie.”
FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, SEKONDI