The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) has moved beyond its core mandate of agricultural transformation in the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone (NSEZ) to organize a five-day Business and Investment Forum in Tamale christened, “SABIF 2015.”
It will mark the beginning of SADA’s transformational agenda in line with its objective.
Beginning March 24, 2015, it will run alongside the Engineering Week celebration under the auspices of the Ghana Institution of Engineers.
The combined event will be celebrated on the theme, “Engineering opportunities and shared prosperity in the Savannah Region of Ghana.”
It intends to showcase the investment and technical potentials of the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone required for socio-economic transformation.
It will also galvanize private sector champions, business moguls, local and international investors, development partners, traditional authorities, Ministries, Departments and Agencies, local government, civil society, youth groups and citizens to dialogue, network and promote business and investment opportunities for the accelerated development of the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone.
The event will further create a platform for participants to display their businesses, products and services.
President John Dramani Mahama at the opening ceremony will superintend over a high level dialogue session.
Also, there will be a special session which will focus on agriculture, climate change and food security to be facilitated by JAK Foundation.
Other activities lined up for the event include business to business meetings, exhibitions and investment opportunities which will be climaxed with a grand durbar of chiefs and a variety of cultural entertainment.
Globally acclaimed high profile speakers on the bill include, Victor Koh from Singapore, Dr. Ken Kwaku, formally of Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency of the World Bank Group and senior Advisor to President Mkapa of Tanzania, Charles Abugri, Chief Executive Officer of SADA and Dr. George Donor, Vice President of ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development.
At the official launch in Tamale, SADA’s Director of Programmes, Dr. Emmanuel Abere-inga unveiled management’s strive to use the forum to unlock constructive ideas needed to harness the transformation of the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone.
He said SADA will liaise with the relevant stakeholders to develop a comprehensive data base to make the institution function.
According to Dr. Emanuel, creating job opportunities for the youth will be extensively discussed at the forum.
As an annual event, he revealed that the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone Engineering Week celebration and SADA’s Business and Investment Forum will be rotated in the SADA regions.
Vice President of the Ghana Institution of Engineers, Engineer B.C Attipoe pledged the institution’s commitment to deepen its collaboration with SADA to address perennial flooding in the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone.
He said local knowledge and skills will be explored to improve infrastructural development within the SADA zone.
He observed that the country needed a critical mass of Engineers and a master plan to achieve her national infrastructure objectives.
“Government has set up the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund to deal with the huge infrastructure deficit and focus on strategic infrastructure that will lead to job creation and the growth of the economy: evidently, we need a critical mass of Engineers and a master plan to achieve our national infrastructure objectives.”
“As indigenous Engineers we believe that one of the key drivers at supporting the SADA effort in alleviating poverty, empowering Ghanaians and achieving the goals of the MDGs is to apply engineering expertise to spearhead an integrated, sustainable and rapid infrastructure development,” he remarked.
Engineer Attipoe promised to make available the GHIE’s members to provide advice and technical assistance to SADA.
“Recognizing the potentials SADA holds for bringing development to the regions covered and Ghana as a whole, the Ghana Institution of Engineers and SADA have agreed to cooperate to ensure that the professional advice and technical assistance of GHIE and its members are made available to SADA to ensure well thought out and engineered projects that are delivered towards realizing the objectives of SADA.”
Deputy Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji A.B.A Fuseini downplayed the selective myopia that SADA failed right at its onset.
He gave the assurance that SADA will be reactivated to achieve its objectives.
“I want to say without an iota of doubt that SADA has come to stay and SADA for those of us in the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone is a lifeline for us.”
He stressed, “Under no circumstance shall we toy with the destiny of SADA as an institution.”
The Sagnarigu constituency Member of Parliament posited that SADA’s growth depended on positive media reportage.
As a veteran Journalist, Alhaji A.B.A Fuseini admonished the media to accurately and objectively highlight SADA’s successes.
This, he said could build investors and the donor community’s confidence in SADA.
“There is no human institution on the face of this earth that has no faults, that is infallible but let us endeavor to separate the institutional errors from the institution’s existence and its existential function.”
A member of SADA’s Board, Naba Benwong Sigri who chaired the launch reiterated SADA’s desire to promote mechanized agriculture in the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone.
“The total transformation of the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone lies on an increased investment in the region that will create opportunities and move many people away from peasant agriculture to modernized commercial agriculture.”
“SABIF 2015 therefore is a unique promotional and traditional event to unlock the potentials, facilitate and promote multi stakeholder investment policy dialogue and business match making opportunities to benefit people of the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone and Ghana at large.”
The participants, mainly Journalists were drawn from the five regions where SADA operates.
By: Abdul Karim Naatogmah/citifmonline.com/Ghana