A coalition of 50 civil society organisations in the Northern Savanna Ecological Zone (NSEZ) has called on all political parties in this year’s general election to reaffirm their commitment to the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) to transform the area into an investment hub.
He said the decision to call on all political parties to reaffirm their commitment and prioritise SADA in their respective manifestos was inspired by concerns that the authority could lose its relevance if parties did not factor it into their policy statements.
Mr Adongo Ayorogo admitted that the issues of financial misappropriation which had hit SADA had created trust issues for the authority.
He, however, said all hope was not lost as the government had already succeeded in restructuring the organisation.
Mr Adongo said the new leadership had revitalised and restored credibility to the authority, thereby making it strong enough to be able to achieve its legal mandate.
With the allegations of corruption levelled against SADA, he said the new leadership was taking steps to deal with the 30 issues of resource misapplication or waste raised in the 2013 Audit Report.
The coalition, which comprises civil society organisations in the Northern, Brong Ahafo, Volta and the two Upper regions, had earlier pressed upon the government to sack the former management of SADA, which it accused of diverting resource meant for the authority.
As a result, Mr Adongo said, it was not necessary to re-invent the wheel by setting up a parallel development authority to transform the northern savannah zone into a place of opportunity and free from poverty.
“The restructuring, revamped, reshaped and repositioned SADA must therefore be prioritised and supported by all to pursue its mandate with creativity, eradication of extreme poverty, hunger, malnutritution and inequalities in Ghana. Turning SADA round into a developmental success story has major implications for Ghana’s development trajectory,” he said.
He said the success of SADA would lay a solid basis for establishing and promoting clear developmental linkages with other sectors of the economy and feed into Ghana’s Long Term National Development Plan (2018-2057).
In addressing some of the challenges of the NSEZ, the coalition realised that it had no Legislative intstrument (LI) to amend some part of the law that guides the coalition.