The Ministry of Inner-Cities and Zongo Development (MICZD) will soon roll out a programme dubbed ‘Zongo Cuisines’ that will seek, not only to enhance but add value to various cuisines and foods and the cooking skills of women in the Zongo communities.
The programme is specifically targeting Zongo women for training and boosting their capacities in preparing these foods as well as rebranding them to create job opportunities. Their outlook will be enhanced with nice packaging to attract more consumers and possibly have them in super markets.
The programme will also ensure that these old-aged cuisines of the Zongo communities such as Fura, Hausa koko, Koose, Maasa and Waakye etc that have over the years become a delicacy in the country can be neatly and nicely enhanced to be picked on the shelves. Mohammed Alhassan, Director of Policy, Planning, Budget, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPBME) at the Ministry explains.
He said the programme seeks to develop and sharpen the skills of the women in the areas of food safety, simple book-keeping training and market accessibility.
Mr. Alhassan announced this when he took his turn at a staff meeting of the Ministry held at the Osu-Castle in Accra recently. He said the programme is targeted at preserving the Zongo cuisines and creating job opportunities for the women who have been at the forefront of selling some of these foods in the Zongo communities for years without harvesting bumper yields.
He explained that the programme is intended to create market accessibilities for the Zongo woman who had been selling these foods that have become synonymous with the Zongo communities. Going forward, it will also be a launch pad for the introduction of a ‘Zongo Cuisines Week’ where a week out of a month will be observed or displayed as a Zongo Food Day.
The week-long activity will help hype and publicise these cuisines for the general public to take much interest in various Zongo dishes and delicacies as a way of marketing them. He expressed worry that foods and delicacies originating from the Zongos being pirated by people born outside the Zongo communities.
He noted that a chunk of these women who cook these sumptuous foods (Waakye) in the Zongos over the years would have taken their cooking expertise, a notch higher had they been trained in food safety and branding. Various Directors took turns to brief staff on activities at their directorates.
The acting Chief Director of the Ministry, Mrs. Gifty Mahama Biyira on her part thanked the staff for their participation and reminded the team that there will be another meeting before the end of the year as part of the directives from the Head of Civil Service. She commended the team for a job well done as the Ministry has been ranked second among the various new Ministries.
According to her, the Ministry of Inner-city and Zongo Development (MICZD) is topping all the other Ministries in the assessment of the conducted by the Head of Civil Service. She said the Ministry is working on segregating its projects and handing over to the secretariat of Zongo Development Fund (ZoDF) to allow the Ministry stick to its core policy work. She reminded staff that the ZoDF is an agency under the MICZD headed by Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid.