|President Lauds Accra Choice For Millennium City Project|
|Friday, 15 January 2010 11:24|
http://www.ghana.gov.gh/images/stories/news/mills.jpgPresident John Evans Atta Mills has lauded the United Nation’s choice of Accra for a millennium city project, saying it will significantly uplift the city to international standards.
“We are proud of the choice of Accra, and this underscores the confidence you have in this country,” he told a high powered UN delegation to castle, Osu in Accra yesterday.
The delegation, led by Professor Jeffery Sachs, a renowned development economist and advisor to the UN secretary –General, is in the country to launch the Accra Millennium City Project today, in which there are plans to develop the capital into a world-class city.
He said as much as the government is appreciative of the support of the UN, it is ready to make the necessary contributions to make the project successful.
“We don’t expect you to carry the entire burden. Our co-operation will be forthcoming,” he assured the UN delegation, which included international scholars on varying economic and development areas.
President Mills urged the local authorities to utilise the opportunity to address all the challenges confronting the effective development of the city, saying “this is not the time to be complacent”.
He said the government will work hard to make the project successful so that Accra will serve as an example to other developing cities.
The president also pledged that his administration will continue to work to further reduce poverty levels in the country, adding that the government is determined to improve the lot of Ghanaians.
That, he said, is to ensure that the UN Millennium Development Goals on poverty reduction, in which Ghana is making significant strides, are successfully achieved to motivate other developing countries to fight poverty.
Prof. Sachs, head of the UN’s millennium Cities Initiative, said Accra was chosen to be designated as Millennium City due to its vast socio-economic potentials that can be harnessed to advance poverty reductions strategies.
He said apart from its geographical advantage of being the gateway to Africa, the effective development of Accra into a modern city can result in the generation of economic activities for poverty reduction in areas beyond the city.
The project, which falls under a broad programme towards the achievement of the UN’s Millennium Challenge Goals (MGDs), will be implemented in collaboration with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly.
It is expected to address some of the city’s unban and environmental challenges with the prime aim of achieving the MDGs.
Mr. Alfred Vanderpuije, Mayor of Accra, in his remarks, thanked Professor Sachs and his team for considering the AMA’s proposals for the project, and assured them of the Assembly’s full co-operation and assistance.
Prof. Sachs is also the head of the Earth Institute at the Columbia University that is collaborating with the UN to drive the Millennium Cities project.
The western Kenyan city of Kisumu on the shores of Lake Victoria was the first city to be designated UN Millennium City in the world in 2006, and since
then a number of cities in development countries have been adopted under the project for their upgrading.
Source: The Ghanaian Times