The Minister for Inner-cities and Zongo Development has indicated his Ministry is to resolve and develop the Zongos and Inner-cities.
The Minister, Dr. Sheikh Mustapha Abdul Hamid said the Ministry, despite its challenges has done marvelously well and it’s on course to achieving its mandate.
He therefore saluted the efforts of his predecessor Hon. Boniface Abubakar for laying down a smooth foundation for the newly created Ministry.
Dr. Mustapha Abdul Hamid made the observation when he took his turn at the ‘ Meet The Press ‘ series to address a cross section of the media on his Ministry’s programs, achievements and outlook for 2019 .
An Inner-cities Development Council has been created to help put the Ministry on its toes in order not to be biased in its activities.
Also a bill on the Zongo Development Fund shall be laid before parliament for approval this year and that a secretariat has also been secured to house employees of the Fund.
He mentioned that upon his assumption into office as the political head of the Ministry, some adjustments and changes were made to the already prepared plans of the Ministry.
He mentioned among other things that programs of the Ministry are segmented into education, water and sanitation, recreation, health , peace and security.
On education, we have recruited 3000 Arabic teachers to teach the Arabic language in our basic schools as a way to develop the language in our schools and to also pave way for Arabic to be an examinable subject in our schools.
In collaboration with an NGO called the World Reader, the Ministry donated a Mobile Library and books to a school at Sabon-Zongo, a suburb of Accra to help promote and deepen the culture of reading and learning in the Zongos and Inner-cities.
Some schools across the country were also renovated to make them habitable and suitable for teaching and learning.
Modern astro-turfs and green parks are being constructed across the length and breadth of the country with emphasis not only on soccer but recreation.
The Minister announced the Madina astro-turf which is 80% complete ,the Walewale and Kyebi turfs in the Northern and Eastern Regions as well as the Asewase in the Ashanti Region and the Fadama astro-turf park , in the Greater Accra Region which shall be named after the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Dr. Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, when completed.
Dr. Mustapha Abdul Hamid continued that in addition to other green parks which are at various stages of completion scattered across Oda , Salaga, Yeji,Bolgatanga amongst others ,his Ministry’s emphasis for creation of such parks is not only for football but recreation as well .
” We can use these parks for our conferences, festivals and other social gatherings” he explained.
Among the outlook for 2019, the Minister mentioned the Zongo Coders Program which is to help channel the interests of young people away from sakawa and other defrauding acts into a more productive activity. The programme which shall be implemented in Accra and Kumasi on pilot basis shall create jobs and generate genuine incomes for the people.
He also mentioned the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated program in collaboration with the World Bank in which an amount of Ghc 25 million shall be allocated for the fixing of storm drains in some part of the Greater Accra Region.
We shall also help business women especially food vendors within the Zongo to rebrand and develop their businesses to generate more incomes and improve on their livelihoods.
To this end he emphasized that a pictorial Zongo food album shall be created and spread across Ghana’s missions abroad for would be tourists to Ghana to know the kinds of delicacies available in Ghana.
” We have already put in place advertisement in the dailies calling on interested women to apply and that the project shall be on pilot basis and as such we shall pick only 300 women from the Greater Accra Region”. The project shall be extended to other parts of the country” he further explained.
Dr. Mustapha Abdul Hamid said that the Nana Akufo-Addo led NPP administration is committed to transform and develop the Zongos and Inner-cities against the contrary and negative perception that Zongo is a hub for political thugs.
” I am very much determined to bring this negative perception about the Zongos to an end” . “The Zongos are abound with talents that needed to be groomed,nurtured and developed for Ghana’s benefit”.