“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
GH219.5 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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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