A coalition of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), operating in the northern ecological zone of the country, has called for support for the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) across political groupings.
According to the group, that was the only way SADA, the agency tasked to bridge the development gap between the northern parts of the country and the south, could be sustained and be successful.
Convener of the coalition, Mr. Bismark Adongo Ayorogo, addressing a press conference in Accra yesterday, asked political parties to reaffirm their support for SADA ahead of the December polls.
He asked the parties to prioritise SADA in their manifestos, to effectively address poverty in the SADA zone, in particular, and the country as a whole.
Mr. Ayorogo said if the political parties reaffirmed their commitment to the sustainability of the SADA and it is captured in their policy document; it would make it simple for them to be held accountable if they won power at the polls.
The NGOs call for support for SADA, Mr. Ayorogo said was “inspired by the preliminary great efforts and laudable initiatives so far taken by the new leadership of SADA to revitalise and restore the credibility of the authority.”
SADA under the previous administration has been bedeviled with financial impropriety since 2010 until 2013 when Mr. Charles Abugre was appointed to steer affairs of the authority to achieve its foundation goal of alleviating poverty in the SADA area.
Mr. Ayorogo is, however, impressed with the new direction of the SADA after the Public Accounts Committee revealed massive resource misapplication as raised in the 2013 audit report of the Auditor General’s Department.
He cited the retrieval of the authority’s assets from technical service providers, the launch of an agricultural investment guide, the development of a master plan document for the area among others as proof of the transformation the authority was going through.
The mandate of SADA as a coordinator, facilitator and catalyst for building a more equitable Ghana for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals is imperative, he noted.
Mr. Ayorogo, taking a cue from the situation where projects embarked upon by governments are neglected by succeeding governments, said the situation was worrying and that SADA must not suffer similar fate.
“As a country we do not need to set up a parallel development authority to transform the Northern Savannah zone into a place of opportunity and free from poverty.
“The restructured, revamped and repositioned SADA must, therefore, be prioritised and supported by all to pursue its mandate with creativity, transparency, and in an accountable manner for eradication of extreme poverty, hunger, malnutrition and inequalities in Ghana”, he stressed.
By Julius Yao Petetsi