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Opinions of Tuesday, 13 January 2004

Columnist: Folson, Ako

The Central Region's Problems-Some Solutions.

The central region of Ghana is rich in many ways but will remain poor for as long as the following situations are not corrected:

a. Good roads- both main and secondary.

b. Land disputes/chieftaincy disputes.

c. Sanitation

With respect to roads, if the roads are developed to an appreciable level that cuts down on travel time, especially from Accra, the region’s rich resources and proximity to both natural resources and the capital, will create a situation where doing business will be attractive. People can actually commute to conduct business. Tourism would flourish as certain parts of the region, which have the potential of being developed as tourist spots are constrained by sub-standard roads. The ability to move produce too in a timely fashion to market will clearly enhance the situation of the lot. In short, good roads will create multiple benefits for the region, thus enhancing its economic viability.

On the issue of land disputes, it is quite a shame that there is constant litigation surrounding central region lands. Again with the proximity to the capital, and the nice climate, should the roads be up to standard, we would see housing development companies and others moving in, especially in light of the congestion in Accra and the overpriced real estate. However, this has not been the case, or the potentially has not been tapped as there is continued disputes over land. This of course is partially due to the state of affairs surrounding chieftaincy issues in the region, which needs to be checked.

Sanitation is a major issue, and that has to do with the value of the people with respect to their surroundings. Kasoa is a perfect example of the bad unhygienic environment created by food markets and people who have no respect for themselves. One has to wonder, how the “gateway” to the central region can continue to greet the many tourists and visitors to our primary tourist region with this level of filth. One has to also wonder what government seeks to enhance revenue from tourism and finds no trouble with the sanitation and presentation of Kasoa, the entry point into the central region, as acceptable.

If the central region is to really maximize its potential, these three issues need to be addressed in haste, and a plan must be pout in place to sustain this. Until these issues are tackled, the region will forever remain at its position, in terms of the relative poverty scale with respect to the regions of Ghana. Of course while at it, let us tackle illiteracy also.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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