Zongo Development Fund: Impacting Lives, Transforming Communities

2020-07-20

“Politics is about advancing human dignity and prosperity”- Karl Rove. It was precise to advance human dignity and bring prosperity to the Ghanaian people, that President Akufo-Addo,

as candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2016, promised to put in place programmes that

will ensure equal opportunity for all Ghanaians irrespective of their creed, place of birth or social

circumstance. A key part of the promise to establish a society of opportunity for all, was to

establish a Zongo Development Fund, to be superintended by a Zongo and Inner-City

Development Minister. In presenting his Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social

Development Policies, 2017-2024, the President did indeed make good his promise to establish a

Zongo Development Fund for the purposes of addressing the development deficit that has been

the bane of Zongo communities since independence.

 

Page 116 of the President’s Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development

Policies, 2017-2024, states

 

As part of the efforts to develop Zongo communities, government will

set up a Zongo Development Fund (ZoDF) with seed funding of

GH219.5 million. The Fund will support the provision of critical

infrastructure in education and training, health and sanitation, local

businesses and centres of culture, as well as improve security in Zongo

communities. The ZoDF is expected to leverage its seed fund to attract

additional funding from international partners, private sector institutions,

civil society organisations and other non-governmental organisations.

 

There are over 3,000 Zongo communities scattered across the country, with an estimated

population of about five million. If indeed, the country is to achieve the Sustainable

Development Goals, key among which is the creation of sustainable communities, then the

Zongo development agenda becomes even more imperative. Ever since the establishment of the

Ministry and the Fund therefore, they have been pursuing an aggressive agenda of social and

economic development in Zongo communities, with a view to bringing up development in these

communities to the standard that is comparable to other communities across the country.

As its mandate as outlined on page 116 of the Economic and Social Development Policy

document states, projects that have been carried out by the Zongo Development Fund under the

direction of the Ministry, seek to address the educational, health, security, recreation and

economic needs of the people in the Zongo communities.

 

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Even though the mandate of the Fund has been outlined for it by the Economic and Social

Development Policy document, the fund still engages in wide consultative processes to arrive at

a decision on which project to situate in which community. Chiefs, political, religious and youth

leaders often make their requests for projects to either the Ministry or to the Fund. A technical

team is then sent to the areas where these requests have come from, to validate the projects. The

Governing Board of the Fund then reviews and approves, modifies or disapproves, if the project

being asked for, does not fall within the Fund’s mandated areas of development.

Thus far, projects that are being executed by the ZODF include the construction and furnishing

of classroom blocks, provision of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

laboratories, construction of astro turfs, provision of water and health facilities, construction of

public and household toilets. Besides, the sector engages in social and economic empowerment

programmes. Many of the projects have started, others are near completion while many more are

completed.

It is the expectation that the Zongo Development Ministry would be allowed to stay into the

foreseeable future in order to guarantee the long-term development of the communities that come

under the ambit of the Ministry. Indeed, development is a journey and as the Chinese have

stated, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a step.” It is expected that within a generation,

this initiative can dramatically transform the lives of the five million people who live in these

communities.

Educational projects

Education is key to the development of Zongo communities and so the MICZD and the ZoDF are

keen in ensuring the provision of the necessary infrastructure to facilitate teaching and learning.

In the area of school blocks and furnishing, work is ongoing at 31 locations across the country.

Each of the projects is a six-unit classroom block, and some of the school blocks will be

furnished. Some of the projects are about 90 per cent complete. The projects are sited at places

including the Manso Zongo in the Amenfi Central District of the Western Region (about 80 per

cent complete), Agogo Zongo in the Asante Akim South District of the Ashanti Region (about 95

per cent complete), and in Nsuaem in the Bosome Freho District in the Ashanti Region (about 35

per cent complete), and Tolon in the Tolon District of the Northern Region (about 40 per cent

complete).

Besides, the construction of a community library is ongoing at Adoagyiri in the Nsawam

Municipal Assembly of the Eastern Region. The Fund has also supplied 300 dual desk furniture

to two schools at Ahamasu in the Kadjebi District of the Oti Region.

ICT labs

Another major initiative of the MICZD is the provision of ICT laboratories in some schools

across the country. It involves the provision of computers and furniture. Some of the beneficiary

schools are Huriya E/A School in Wa and Falahiya Islamic School in Tumu, both in the Upper

West Region; Basin KG/Primary/JHS in Navrongo and Umaria E/A JHS, both in the Upper West

 

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Region, and Nuriyya Islamic School Complex in Ho and Aswaj English and Arabic Basic School in Hohoe, both in the Volta Region.

Source: Musa Jafaru