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Touring Ghana with President Akufo-Addo — Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

Over the past five weeks, President Akufo-Addo has traveled to a number of locations across the nation. He speaks with chiefs and other people, commissions projects, oversees those that are already underway, and breaks ground on new ones during these visits.

He has already traveled to the Northern, North East, Upper East, Upper West, Savannah, and Central Regions as part of his promise to make yearly trips to each of the 16 regions of the nation. Why is the President so eager to travel around the nation, especially at a time when many people are grumbling about economic hardships?

He reaffirmed his justifications for these excursions to me when I questioned him about them before the Northern Regional tour. They first provide him a chance to connect and gain a firsthand understanding of the difficulties many people are facing.

The travels also provide him a chance to personally assess the state of the project on the ground and provide comments for the ongoing projects and programs. The President stressed that now is the most crucial time to reinvest in the Ghanaian economy, and he said he wanted to be present to see proof of those investments as they were being made to revive the economy.

The President visited the district hospitals being built as part of his much-heralded Agenda 111 project. Remember that Agenda 111 is the government’s top priority for building health infrastructure and represents the nation’s largest investment in healthcare.

The purpose of this significant investment in the healthcare sector is to correct the uneven distribution of the healthcare infrastructure and to establish Ghana as the region’s center of excellence for the provision of healthcare.

Projects under Agenda 111 are not a fantasy; they are actually taking place now. Most of the 88 district hospitals in the nation have already started construction, and the President’s visit of Agenda 111 construction sites included stops at Kpandai, Issa, Lambussie, and Gomoa Afransi. It was amusing to see him chastise some contractors for their tardiness and commend others for doing their jobs quickly.

Also, the President is using the opportunity to assess the success of the One District One Factory (1D1F) flagship programme. The programme seeks to transform the country’s economy from a predominantly agro raw material-based to a more industry-oriented economy. So far, some 125 companies have been completed and are fully operational with 129 of them at various stages of completion and a further 24, at the mobilization stage.

It was almost impossible to believe two factories; the gas cylinder factory in Chochoe and the lubricant factory in the Gomoa East District being commissioned under the initiative in the Awutu Senya West Constituency of the Central Region. Each of these factories will contribute hundreds of jobs directly and indirectly, tens of thousands of incomes in the years ahead to the people who are working in them and an improvement in their own livelihoods. President Akufo-Addo commenced his regional tours with a visit to the Northern Region where he inspected ongoing projects including the Agenda 111 hospital at Kpandai as well as the yam and cassava processing factory in Bimbilla under the 1D1F initiative. As part of the tour, the President also cut sod for the dualization of the Bimbilla town roads.

The two-kilometre project, which forms part of the Eastern Corridor trunk road project consist of the construction of roundabouts, covered drainage systems, traffic lights, among other facilities. In the Upper West Region, the President spent three days inspecting ongoing projects and cutting sod for the construction of new ones. President Akufo-Addo first paid a courtesy call on the Overlord of the Waala Traditional Council, Naa Fuseini Seidu Pelpuo where he instructed the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) to sought approval for the procurement of 3,000 streetlights to be placed at vantage points to curb insecurity in the region.

He assured the people of Wa of significant development in the region, emphasizing that his government will make sure that “the national cake is shared equitably.” He proceeded to inspect ongoing works on the Phase II of the Wa Youth Resource Centre in the Wa Central constituency. The youth center is 1 of the 10 resource centers being constructed across the country. The Phase I of the project is 98 per cent complete while the second phase which is ongoing is 30 per cent complete. The project consultant assured the President of the completion and handing over of the project by end of this year. President Akufo-Addo departed Wa to Lambussie where he inspected the ongoing construction of the district hospital as part of the Agenda 111 project. The hospital, when completed will boost healthcare delivery in the district. He also cut the sod for the dualization of the Nandom town roads. He inspected ongoing works at the Wa Shopping Centre and proceeded to Kaleo to commission the Kaleo Solar Power Project.

The 13 megawatts solar power project helps government in its efforts to diversify the country’s entire generation portfolio to renewable energy and at the same time, increase the region’s power generation to provide enough energy capacity to meet industrial power demands and domestic needs. His visit to the Savannah Region saw him inspect rehabilitated works at the Salaga Water System in the Salaga North constituency. The President also inspected work on the Tamale-Salaga-Mankango road, and the Bunjai-Fulfulso road bringing an end to his two-day two of both the Upper West and Savannah Regions. President Akufo-Addo switched his attention to the southern part of the country where he visited the Central Region last Friday. The two-day tour of the region began in Kasoa in the Awutu Senya East constituency, where the President inspected work on a Court Complex. He proceeded to the Awutu-Senya West constituency to inspect work on the Kasoa-Bawjiase road and commissioned a 1D1F gas cylinder factory in Chochoe.

The President also commissioned another 1D1F lubricant factory in the Gomoa East District at Fetteh and inspected an Agenda 111 Project in Gomoa Afransi in the Gomoa Central constituency. As the President prepares for his Volta Regional tour next week, for those who were beginning to despair as a result of the pains of the economic challenges, his tours and the evidence of the rebooting works going on around the country should bring back your smiles. As he works to bring back stability after the globally induced turbulence, his next objective is to invest in the real sector. These investments, evidence of which are unfolding before our very eyes on TV are the things that will bring back the growth, jobs, incomes, and an improvement in the quality of life that we need.

You no longer need to be informed about the projects that are now underway throughout the nation or to hear a distorted account of them from someone else. Thanks to the Ministry of Information’s collaboration with affiliate media partners, Ghanaians can now watch livestreams of the President’s major stops, including his commissioning of factories and projects, inspection of work on roads and Agenda 111, and interactions with important segments of our society.

 

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