Volta Region has been the waterloo for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in every election since 1992. However, the most gratifying phenomenon is that the voting pattern has been improving in every election. Currently, the NPP can boast of one Member of Parliament in the region. This situation is similar to the era of President Kufuor when the party had only one seat. Significantly, it can be seen that every NPP President always has the support of one NPP Member of Parliament from the region. It is to emphasize that a targeted strategy must be adopted to sustain our gains and win more seats next time.
What is being said about the incremental margin the party has been making in the region? Should this translate into massive development for the region? The development of the region should not be tied to the number of votes and seats the party obtain in the region. What is more important is to consider the development of the region in the overall national development agenda of the country under President Akufo Addo. The development needs of Volta Region are myriad and this must engage the utmost attention of the President.
It is important to make the region competitive in terms of investment. This must be done through deliberate policy initiatives by the President Akufo Addo-led government with the appropriate inputs from the region. The inputs from the region will include the identification of our development priorities and the appropriate proposal that will be fitted into the overall national development programmes. The formulation of the proposal must involve all stakeholders who are concerned with the development of the region. This is the surest way to secure stakeholder agreement on the development goal particularly taking due consideration of the district specifics at all levels of the development process.
To initiate and intensify lobbying for the development of the region, a documented plan must guide our steps in seeking support and assistance. What is urgently needed is to open up the region for business which will impact positively on the economic lives of the people. The region abounds in many resources which can be exploited to enrich the quality of lives of the people.
Aggressive marketing strategies should be adopted to market the potentials of the region to local and foreign investors. Technology can be used in this regard, for instance, the operationalization of internet based or electronic marketing and the display of the region’s website to enable potential investors access the economic opportunities in the region. The region can also make use of our diplomats and ambassadors to market its potentials to attract foreign capital investment.
There are stimuli from President Nana Akufo Addo which must elicit responses from the region. Important concepts like “One district one factory” and “One million dollars per district” underline the blueprint for the development of the country and these must be embraced by all. In this regard, the region has to formulate a comprehensive development plan which must take account of the needs of the various districts. The plans from the various districts should be dovetailed into one regional plan to facilitate implementation and monitoring.
A lot of work depends on the region to put its best foot forward for the government to lend its support. It is important to make the region attractive by exploring all means to unearth its potentials. This is not the time to wait for the government to initiate the development projects for the region. The initiative must come from the region with persistent follow up to ensure that the development is delivered.
Volta Region has men and women who can take charge of affairs for its development and therefore cannot afford to lag behind under the Presidency of Nana Akufo Addo. With proper focus and concerted efforts on our part as a party and with the involvement of stakeholders, Volta Region will witness tremendous development under President Nana Akufo Addo. The neglect of the region will now be turned into attention by serious development oriented government led by President Nana Akufo Addo.
The most important thing for the region is to intensify engagement and fruitful dialogue in our development planning processes with the government in order to facilitate the acceptance of our plans and programmes. Negotiation will be a key instrument to enhance the success of our agenda. Note that a rounded development plan is needed for the region. In this regard, it will be important to have an Integrated Development Unit whose sole responsibility will be to synthesize and harmonize all development plans from the districts for an accelerated development of the region.
Some initiatives for enhancing the development of the region will include modernization and transformation of some towns to boost commercial activities. Through the development of modern market infrastructure, business will boom and the individual business aptitude will be put to test. This will encourage private initiative for wealth creation. Through a well organized research, we will be able to spot more businesses that will attract investors.
The “One million dollars per district” initiative will speed up provision of social infrastructure such as water facilities, road, mini market facilities, educational facilities, medical facilities and many more. This will improve the quality of lives of the people. However, to deliver the social infrastructure, it will be important to access the one million dollar facility. In order to access this facility, a well developed plan; project proposal, financial plan, monitoring and control mechanisms must be formulated by the district to assure the government of the judicious utilization of the fund.
With his passion for the development of the country, President Nana Akufo Addo has solutions to our development challenges. Dynamism, enthusiasm and boldness that will characterize the development plans and initiatives of the region will be a veritable source of vim and energy for the President to act quickly in response to our proposal. Development is a shared responsibility and our share is to develop the proposals and the initiatives and forward them to the President for approval and support.
By Leo-Nelson Adzidogah, 2016 NPP Parliamentary Candidate for Akatsi South