A one-day Consultative Forum on the Zongo Development Fund has taken place in Atebubu in the Brong Ahafo Region.


Stakeholders drawn from the Zongo communities in Sene east, Sene west and Atebubu-Amantin districts of the region attended the meeting which was organized by the Ministry of Inner City and Zongo Development.


Mr Sibic Bugri, Director of Communications at the Ministry, explained that the interactions, which had taken them to various parts of the country, aimed to collating the views of people in the Zongo communities across the country which would help fashion a bill for the approval of both Cabinet and Parliament to pave the way for disbursement of the funds.


In a welcome address, the Atebubu-Amantin District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr. Edward Owusu said the forum was a manifestation of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision for Zongo communities in Ghana.


He said a seed amount of GH¢ 219.5 million Ghana cedis approved for the fund was bigger than any allocation made to any Ministry under the current budget and urged participants to lay bare any challenges facing their communities.


The Minister for Inner City and Zongo Development, Hon. Boniface Abubakar Saddique, said the fund would be deployed in five main areas, namely infrastructure and sanitation, economic empowerment, social development, cultural promotion and security and crime control.


Mr Saddique said roads, drains, clinics, water, electricity and street lighting would be provided in relevant communities under infrastructure and sanitation while women and the youth would be trained in entrepreneurship and employment skills for economic empowerment, adding that beneficiaries would also be assisted to draw business plans and supported to access credit from financial institutions.


The Presiding Member of the Atebubu-Amantin District Assembly, Hon. Gariba Issa, urged the Minister to consider the provision of Islamic Senior High Schools where necessary and the improvement in Arabic school infrastructure.


He also called for scholarships for Zongo students studying in critical areas like medicine, nursing and ICT among others.


Participants from the three districts who touched on various interventions they will want the fund to make in their communities. They also asked questions bothering on a wide range of issues to which the minister provided answers.


Present were Honorable John Nyaba DCE for Sene west, Dr. Frimpong a special aide to the Vice President and members of a technical team from the ministry.


Source: ISD (Daniel Oduro-Stewart)