The Bono Regional Minister, Ms Justina Owusu-Banahene has appealed to the investor community to turn their attention to her region and exploit the numerous investment opportunities available there.
She said the Bono region had a very conducive environment as well as the needed raw materials for investment purposes.
Ms Owusu-Banahene made the call in Accra yesterday when she took her turn at the bi-weekly Minister’s Briefing organised by the Ministry of Information.
“The Bono Region abounds in raw materials and anyone who has the resources to invest in the region must come if they so wish. Besides the region has a lot of good items for agro-processing factories. The region also has a lot of silos and ware houses that can be used for industrial purposes,” she said.
Ms Owusu-Banahene said even though agriculture was the mainstay of the region the poor road network in most parts often led to the perishing of farm produce, stressing that “these food can be turned into processed foods for export and local use.”
She said the government had established some One-District-One-Factory (IDIF) projects in certain towns in the region, however, government alone cannot do it, as such it was important for individual entrepreneurs to compliment this effort.
“Please come to my region to invest because we need jobs for the youth, besides we want to put the region in a better financial position.
The region has mangoes, oranges , cashew, coffee, cocoa, cola nuts, etc and all these can be processed into many secondary products to earn bigger money,” she reiterated.
She touted the government’s achievement in improving basic infrastructure in the region, stressing that “No government under the fourth republican era can surpass the government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the provision of infrastructure in the region.”
She said in the area of roads, the government had improved a total of 539.52km of feeder road networks under various periodic maintenance interventions across all districts in the region.
“This has improved greatly the socio-economic status of towns located along the various corridors in the region,” she added.
In the area of health, Ms Owusu-Banahene said over the last six years, the region had seen the construction and completion of 19 health facilities.
The facilities she said included; a 60-bed hospital in the Tain District, the Benkasa Health Center in the Berekum West District and 17 Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds with staff accommodation dotted all over the region.
In addition, she said there had been significant improvement in the staffing levels of key medical professionals in the region and this was impacting positively on health delivery in the region.
Ms Owusu-Banahene said the doctor to patient ratio in the region was 1:10,395 compared to 1:14,896 some 6 years ago.
On education, she disclosed that a total of 78 educational projects had been initiated and were currently ongoing in the 12 Municipal and District Assemblies of the region.
These she said included: the construction of dormitories, libraries, classrooms, dining halls, administration blocks, staff quarters, science, and ICT centres.
The minister said of key significance was the reopening of the Sunyani Airport, adding that “The reopening of the airport will help stimulate economic growth in the region.
She said the airport would reduce the difficulties passengers travelling to and from the middle belt of the country endured.
“In October 2019, the Government of Ghana and the Ghana Airports Company Limited jointly funded the Phase One of the Airport Rehabilitation Project at a cost of GH¢52.25 million.
“ I am happy to report that the airport is ready for use and Passion Air is set to make its maiden flight on Monday, September 19, 2022.”
She said even though the reopening of the airport would open up the economic growth potential of the region, as well as ease travelling time from Sunyani to Accra, which takes an average of between eight to 10 hours, it was also an opportunity to promote eco and cultural tourism in the Bono Region and beyond.
The airport, was closed in 2015 due to safety concerns caused by visible deterioration of its airside pavement and poor state of infrastructure, however, it was ready and would start operations on Monday, September 19, 2022.
This followed the commissioning of Phase I of renovation and expansion works by President Akufo-Addo last month.
BY CLIFF EKUFUL