Former CEO for the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) and current Executive Director of the International Development Economists Association (IDEA) Charles Abugre has said that his vision for the Authority was to see the rapid development of the Savannah Ecological zone in the areas of agriculture, transportation and urban city planning.
This strategy he referred to those 3 master plans; the Buipe Multi-Modal Transport and City Master Plan, the Tamale City Master Plan and the Agricultural Master Plan birthed the ‘Regional Concept Plan’ which was a Savannah Zone-wide plan.
The plans were supposed to focus on infrastructure that would develop the Northern half of the country, look at drawing investments that would make Public-Private Partnerships work and the policies needed to incentivize private investors.
Mr. Abugre was speaking to Samuel Mbura on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East in Bolgatanga today, December 22, 2021.
On the ‘Agriculture Master Plan’, Mr. Abugre described it as “perhaps the most sophisticated piece of work that had been done”. The work included detailed investigations of soil characteristics in the Savannah Zone and the types of crops that are suitable adding that over 20 crops were tested in this regard. The Former CEO also recounted work that went into analyzing the possibilities of small to large-scale dams, some of which had the potential of supporting hydroelectricity supply. Together with support from World Bank, SADA reviewed pre-feasibilities studies for at least 25 medium to large scale dams.
He said the Plan wanted to harness the endless possibilities available to Northern Ghana with regard to agriculture.
On the Tamale City Master Plan, Mr. Abugre said it was important to focus on Tamale because of its status as the fastest-growing urban settlement in the entire Savannah area. He said it was essential that the planning of the area was centred properly to drive investment in the area. He said with a 25-year long term plan, Tamale’s 350 thousand population which is estimated to hit about 1.2 million in two decades would be properly catered for in terms of development. He said without proper planning, Tamale in the coming years could become a slum.
On the Buipe Multi-Modal Transport and City Master Plan, Mr. Abugre explained that the idea was to develop the country’s inland water transport system and create a harbour in the area because of its proximity to the Upper West Region, Upper East Region, North-East Region and all other economically vibrant areas in Northern Ghana recalling that there were also plans to fashion a properly structured city like Tema to enhance the economic opportunities of the area.
He said while SADA was interested in developing the rail and road transport systems, water transport was centred because it was more reliable and the cheapest of the three.
Meanwhile, Mr. Abugre also clarified long-standing thoughts that the Authority reportedly indicated that guinea fowls reared under one of its projects by the Asongtaba Cottage Industry in Sumbrugu in the Upper East Region had flown to neighbouring Burkina Faso.
He said the statement was made by a journalist and not SADA adding that the fueling of the misinformation was borne out of mischief.
Mr. Abugre admitted that SADA made mistakes in pursuing its mandate as a vehicle for developing Northern Ghana.
He said while SADA chalked very positive feats, the Authority made mistakes that caught the attention of many. He said at the time he took over as CEO of the Authority, it was basically on its knees.
A1Radioonline.com|101.1MHz| Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana