The Coordinator for Zongo and Inner-City Development Secretariat (ZICDS) under the Office of the President, Ben Abdallah Banda, has reiterated the commitment of the government to facilitate and bring development to Zongo communities in Ghana in the second term of President Akufo-Addo.
He said the development of Zongo communities is dear to the heart of the President, hence the decision to move the secretariat to his office.
The Zongo Development Ministry was created by President Akufo-Addo as a special development vehicle to accelerate development in Zongo communities, in order to bridge the development gap between Zongos and other parts of the country.
The Ministry in the past four years has undertaken several infrastructure projects in the areas of education, sanitation, roads, health, sports, and many others.
Under the Ministry, projects such as classroom blocks, drainage, and water systems, roads and bridges have been built with clinics renovated, and Astro turfs pitches built in many Zongo communities across the country.
The Ministry has also offered scholarships to 40 needy but brilliant students from Zongo communities to Cuba to study medicine.
Speaking at an event to climax the 2021 Kumasi Inter-Zongo Sallah Gala at Aboabo in the Asokore Mampong Municipality of the Ashanti Region, the Coordinator for Zongo Development, Ben Abdallah Banda, said improving education, vocational training, entrepreneurship, and infrastructure for inhabitants of Zongo communities remains a priority for the secretariat.
“The Zongo Development is so dear to the heart of the President. That explains the reason why Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has taken the Zongo Development to his office. So we are now under the office of the President,” he said.
Mr. Abdallah Banda indicated that youth within the Zongo communities are endowed with talents especially in football, and the secretariat will channel its efforts in unearthing these talents for the benefit of society.
He disclosed that the secretariat through the government will absorb all expenses involved in the organization of football competitions and tournaments within the Zongo communities for the youth.
He added that “Because of the talents that abound in this vicinity which I have witnessed, my managers and I will sit down to look at the various Astro Turfs that have been completed and the ones that are still ongoing, and we will try to find some funding and ensure that we get at least one AstroTurf within the vicinity on which these talented players can play on for the satisfaction of everybody.”
He advised the youth in Zongo communities to eschew acts that will disturb the peace of their communities and also put them into trouble.
He also admonished the youth not to take the laws into their hands whenever disagreements arise.
The former Member of Parliament (MP) for Offinso South urged the youth in Zongo communities to work towards becoming good leaders in the future since the development of their communities can only be realized through good and positive-thinking leaders.
He commended the organizers of the event for consistently organizing the competition for the past 24 years and said such events help to improve the local economy, bring about social cohesion, love, and peace among the communities.
Ben Abdallah Banda, the former MP for Offinso South, was appointed as the Coordinator for the Zongo and Inner-City Development Secretariat (ZICDS).
His appointment follows the government’s decision to make the Ministry of Zongo and Inner Cities Development a Secretariat under the Office of the President.
The new Presidential Coordinator is expected to facilitate the smooth implementation of these policies under the ZDF.