Dr. Hakeem Wemah, Chairman of the Northern Development Forum says the emerging oil and gas potentials in Ghana will make no meaningful impact on Ghanaians if the youth are not trained to take advantage of the industry.
He observes that the influx of foreigners in Ghana whose major priority is to exploit the oil and gas industry could affect plans by government and other development partners to eradicate youth unemployment in the country.
He has therefore called on government to develop policies that will focus on training Ghanaian youth to obtain the technical expertise needed to manage the oil and gas industry for the benefit of all.
Dr. Wemah raised these concerns at a day’s public sensitization forum on the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority organized by the Northern Development Forum in collaboration with SEND-Ghana with support from Oxfam-GB and Christian Aid-UK.
Speaking on the theme, “Making SADA work for all,” Mr. Moses Bukari Mabengba, Northern Regional Minister maintained that the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority when implemented will help bridge the yawning development gap between northern and southern Ghana.
He emphasized the Mills-led administration’s determination to deliver on its Better Ghana Agenda with the expectation that SADA will get the necessary resources for its early implementation.
Mrs. Helen Koranteng, a representative of women advocacy group Savannah Women Empowerment Group of Ghana underscored the need for women to be actively involved in the decision making processes of SADA.
Dr. Sulley Gariba, a development consultant and policy advisor to the President on SADA stressed that SADA will not dodge its prime focus of addressing chronic poverty which in his estimation will stimulate the growth of under-developed regions of Northern, Brong Ahafo and parts of the Volta Regions of Ghana.
He mentioned the low growth recorded in northern Ghana, climate change leading to floods and droughts and the high rate of rural-urban migration as some of the factors that have affected northern Ghana’s socio-economic development.
Dr. Gariba hinted that all the development challenges that have affected the socio-economic development of the earmarked areas will be tackled by the SADA programme as part of a national development agenda.