Contrary to the claim that the Central Region is the fourth poorest in Ghana, the story has changed for the better, but sadly many people are still unaware of it.
According to the Living Standards Survey (LSS) of the Ghana Statistical Service on regional poverty levels, which was completed in 2017 with estimates for 2021, the Central region went from being the fourth poorest of the 10 regions in 2006 to the fourth richest of the 16 regions in 2021.
For those who work in farming, fishing, fish processing, formal public service, and trading, it continues to be the region with the highest per capita productivity and third highest per capita income levels.
With a population growth rate of 2.1%, the area has the second-highest opportunity for demographic dividends, the third-highest road density and access, the fourth-least unemployment and youth unemployment rates, and the second-highest road density and access.
The National Development Planning Commission’s (NDPC) Director-General, Dr. Kodjo Esseim Mensah-Abrampa, revealed this information at a stakeholders’ event to get opinions on how to alleviate the persistent poverty in the area.
The interaction was a component of the ongoing Central Regional Trade, Tourism, and Investment Fair, 2022, which was held at Cape Coast’s Adisadel Park.
The goal of the eight-day expo is to highlight the region’s economic potential under the theme “Promoting Trade, Tourism and Investments in the Central Region: Challenges, Prospects and Solutions.”
Dr. Mensah-Abrampa, who is delighted by the shifting narrative, claimed it was an anomaly for the area to be classified as one of the poorest in the nation considering the wealth of resources it could brag of.
It is quite unfortunate that, despite having an abundance of resources, the central region is considered to be one of the poorest. Along with our vast arable lands, gold, lumber, lithium, and skilled labor force, we are the tourism fortress.
“To forward the goal for regional development, we must all work diligently and collaboratively with all parties, particularly the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies. We must all work together to battle social injustices by generating wealth to end poverty.
According to Dr. Mensah-Abrampa, the region is surrounded by the Western, Western North, Ashanti, Eastern, and Greater Accra Regions and is in the center of Ghana’s development cordon.
He asserts that the strategic location provides a great deal of potential for high-development energy exchanges, which are symbolized by external inflows and outflows of products and services from the surrounding areas.
To lower the cost of doing business throughout the region, it is necessary to address the current trade, tourism, and investment barriers, particularly trade access to important market centers by road arteries.
Dr. Mensah-Abrampa discussed tourism and the gaps that must be actively closed to promote growth in the industry. These gaps include the lack of current information on tourism embodiment, networking, lodging rates, and entertainment to welcome and engage guests.
He had prayed still for consistent capacity building and accurate information on investment, attractions, the degree of readiness, land, energy, access, local counterparts, and investment regions.
The medium- and long-term development plans of the several Assemblies must include a plan and a call to action that are centered on an integrated regional development plan, he insisted.
The Central Regional Minister, Mrs. Justina Marigold Assan, underlined the RCC’s commitment to working with stakeholders to build upon and maintain the region’s successes.
She said, “We are working to remove the administrative red tape and bottlenecks that deter, attract, or repel investors.