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Regional News of Sunday, 19 February 2006

Source: GNA

Volta Foundation launched at Ho

Ho, Feb.19, GNA - Volta Foundation, a development oriented Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), to facilitate socio-economic development of the Volta Region was launched at Ho on Saturday. The Foundation would ensure rapid completion of on going development projects and others on the drawing board in the region. It will in addition, assist to create job opportunities for the unemployed youth and mobilise resources both locally and internationally to develop the region.

Mr Raymond Okudzeto, President and Founder of the Foundation speaking at the launching observed that successive governments in the past had not made any "major impact on the region hence its present state of neglect and hopelessness."

Mr Okudzeto, a Former Volta Regional Manager of the defunct Ghana National Trading Corporation (GNTC), said on his return to Ghana from abroad four years ago, found the region as a spectacle of total neglect. He said Keta had gone into the sea without any effort to include a fishing harbour in the reclamation project to create an industry for the people who were mostly fishermen and fishmongers.

Mr Okudzeto, noted that though the region was blessed with natural resources, most of the people in the villages were either unemployed or under-employed, adding "our youth have turned to drinking Akpeteshie (local gin) out of frustration. Our girls are not being educated and having babies while still in their teens."

He said something drastic should be done to improve on the living standards of the people now and called on people in the region to actively work towards its development through their own initiatives, partnerships, innovation and change of attitude about their colleagues. Mr Okudzeto, said the Foundation had been established as the platform of choice for people in the region irrespective of their political affiliations to promote ideas and unleash potentials in the region.

"We therefore, need the cooperation of people who are willing to work towards the common good of all Voltarians, " He added. Mr Joseph Kwaku Nayan, Deputy Volta Regional Minister said the key to move development fast in the region was unity. He said it was therefore, important for Voltarians to first of all ensure that as a people they uphold peaceful coexistence and good neighbourliness. Mr Nayan said it was unfortunate that the region had more devastating chieftaincy and land conflicts and disputes than any region in the country.

He noted that bulk of the region's resources and time had been directed into conflicts resolution and management when majority of the people lacked basic amenities. Mr Nayan was optimistic that with the establishment of the Foundation most of the rural dwellers would have improved standard of living.