Bolgatanga, Dec.31, GNA - Professor Hurana Yakubu, Vice Chancellor, University for Development Studies (UDS) has said the future of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) regions depended on human resource development.
Professor Yakubu, who made the observation during the 9th Congress of the Association of Natives of the Bolgatanga, Nangodi, Bongo and Tongo (BONABOTO) held in Bolgatanga, also stressed the need to include agribusiness to the economic livelihoods of the people.
The Vice Chancellor, who was the Guest Speaker for the occasion, urged SADA to bank investments on education by initiating and facilitating the establishment of a Special Rural Education Programme in the SADA zones to respond to the special circumstances of schooling at the villages.
“With majority of the citizens in the zones being rural, banking on rural education as a means of enhancing the human resource development of the area will definitely yield desirable dividends,” the Vice Chancellor stressed.
He pointed out that comparatively the SADA zones lagged behind in terms of achievements, particularly education and cited, for instance, that whilst the national literacy rate among 15 year-olds and above was about 72 per cent, that of the Upper East was 40 per cent, Upper West 41 per cent and Northern Region 33 per cent.
The Vice Chancellor stated that the SADA Ecological Zones had global competitive advantage in certain agricultural produce and mentioned that the areas were the only place that had the unique environment for the production of guinea fowls.
“The guinea fowl is a great agricultural commodity with a great promise. However the negative discourse surrounding the guinea fowl is one that we need to erase,” he indicated.
Whilst calling on civil society organizations and the private sector to support SADA in its quest for Agricultural Led Growth, the Vice Chancellor also called on SADA to facilitate and promote agribusinesses so as to increase value on local produce and also identify agricultural commodities that had unique and global comparative advantage that could be exploited.
He said increased crop harvests without value addition tended to have negative effect on the economic livelihoods of farmers, stressing “when there is a bumper harvest prices go down, ultimately resulting in low net income for farmers.
The solution to this natural process is the promotion of agribusinesses that add value to agricultural commodities.”
The Chief Executive of SADA, Mr Charles Abugri, indicated that the new SADA had been restructured and was regaining its image as it was addressing the challenges that confronted it and gaining more attention from the international community.
Mr Abugre, who disclosed that SADA would be holding a major International Business Conference next year, indicated that it would attract international partners to help facilitate the implementation of road infrastructure, education infrastructure, health infrastructure and agriculture infrastructure among others.
In his welcome address, the President of BONABOTO pointed out that this year’s congress, which had its theme “ Supporting the Rebranded SADA for Development,” was very special since part of the activities was to deliberate on how to help re-brand SADA to help accelerate development of the area.