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Regional Minister's Maiden Meeting with HoDs

OPENING STATEMENT BY THE CENTRAL REGIONAL MINISTER, HON. JUSTINA MARIGOLD ASSAN (MRS.) AT THE OPENING OF HEADS OF DEPARTMENT MEETING HELD AT THE BANQUET HALL OF THE REGIONAL CO-ORDINATING COUNCIL ON WEDNESDAY, 31ST MARCH, 2021

 

THE CHIEF DIRECTOR,

HEADS OF DEPARTMENT

OFFICERS FROM THE REG. CO-ORDINATING COUNCIL, HERE PRESENT

OUR FRIENDS FROM THE MEDIA,

DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

 

 

When we meet like this we do so as one unified family of the Central Region and for that matter Mother Ghana, with the collective responsibility of identifying and exploring strategic avenues to ensure sustainable development for ourselves and posterity.

 

It is therefore heartwarming for me not only because I am meeting you for the first time in my capacity as the Regional Minister but also it gladdens me to see the enthusiasm with which you have responded to this invitation.

 

National Development Agenda 

 

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I believe we are aware of the government’s broad development programmes i.e. Free SHS Pgrogramme, One District-One Factory, One Village One Dam, Planting for Food and Jobs, Planting for Food and Rural Development, Tax Revenue for Economic Development, road projects, etc. As frontline stakeholders in this business it behooves us to partner the government to attain our national goals and for that matter the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for the year 2030. It is also important that we perform our duties in conformity with Local Governance Act 936 of 2016 in our quest to change the lives of our people for the better.

 

Regional Development Agenda 

As we focus on the implementation of these, it is imperative that we also identify our peculiarities and priorities as a region and rope them into the national agenda for our optimum benefit. The need therefore to have a pragmatic sustainable regional development agenda is paramount.

 

Special Regional Strategy

Ladies and Gentlemen, as part of our plan towards accelerated development of the Region, the Regional Planning Coordinating Unit (RPCU) in collaboration with the Central Region Development Commission has constituted a Committee to develop a Regional Development Strategy. The initiative is aimed at developing the needed strategies and impetus to drive home our vision of transforming the region. Going forward we intend to bring on board the academia to further deepen and fine-tune our blueprint in such a manner to attract the required support from our development partners and agencies, International NGOs and Investors to assist us to resolve our developmental challenges.

 

Focus Areas for Development

Ladies and gentlemen, we pride and hail this Region with accolades such as citadel of education, tourism heartbeat of Ghana, Region of Excellence etc. but until we repositioned ourselves as a region to reap the full benefits of these opportunities they will remain empty accolades. Emphasis in our development agenda will therefore be placed on the following thematic areas:

  • Education with special emphasis on Basic Education
  • Health
  • Sanitation :Tackle Open Defecation:

                    19.6% population have access to decent places of     

                    convenience

                    81% without toilets

  • Tourism
  • Agriculture/Agro Industries
  • Roads
  • Creation of jobs for the Youth
  • Gender Parity – Focus on Women Empowerment

 

Consequently, we cannot also lose sight of the fact that achieving these goals demand prudent harmonization and use of resources.

 

Judicious Use of State Resources

 

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I believe you will agree with me that those of us gathered here are among the privilege in the society into whose hands have been entrusted the management of state resources. We are accountable to the people with our stewardship and must endeavor to make judicious use of resources in a way that will cut down cost, reduce waste and prevent leakages as far as practicable. It is also important that we build and improve our capacities towards resource mobilization and distribution. The need for capacity building is therefore very important in this our common quest.

 

Prompt Response Invitations, Submission of Reports and Attendance to Meetings

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, one important resource which is often downplayed in our country is time. That notwithstanding, time invariably, controls the progress or the otherwise of every single activity on earth. I wish to appeal to you to honour all invitations to the RCC, official functions and submission of reports on time. I further wish to entreat you to desist from the common practice where Regional Heads often send junior officers to represent them on boards, committees and crucial meetings.

 

Institutionalisation of Heads of Department Meetings

Going forward, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I wish indicate that we intend to institutionalise the Heads of Department meetings to afford us the opportunity to interact much more often to take stock of our progress and stay focused. I am glad to state that my doors are widely open to all. You are all welcome to offer fresh ideas and innovations into existing plans and structures.

 

Conclusion

Ladies and gentlemen, time and space at this our maiden meeting will not allow me to expound all that I have to say. However I am hopeful that considering the assembly of distinguished personalities with various backgrounds, professions and expertise who have availed themselves at this meeting we will be able to solicit views and ideas to enrich the strategies outlined in our regional developmental agenda to transform this Region. Let us put our collective shoulders to wheel to propel our Region.  I will pause at this moment for the meeting to continue, hopeful that the ensuing programme is going to engender fruitful discussions and important contributions towards realising our goals.

 

Thank you.

 

Delivered by Hon. Justina Marigold Assan (Mrs)