Upper East Has Potential
The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr. Mahami Salifu says despite his regions "poorest" status, it is endowed with investment opportunities in the areas of gold mining, quarry and clay production, tourism and agro-processing industries. He said there are unexploited gold deposits at Telli and Natinga, which Ashanti Goldfields has expressed interest in.
Mr. Salifu said this when he took his turn at the meet-the press series for the Ministers at the Information Services Department in Accra.
He said the region also has tourist attractions like Paga ecotourism and Yoriyanga Crocodile Pond, Bolga Museum, Tongo Hills and Tengzug shrines, slave routes, Wariyanga Mosque, Naa Gbewaa shrine at Pusiga as well as colourful festivals that can bring revenue and employment to the people of the region.
On agro-processing, Mr. Salifu called on government to put both the Pwalugu Tomato factory and Zuarungu Meat Processing factory on fast track divestiture since their raw materials are available.
Mr. Salifu talked of efforts to raise the standard of education in the region. "There is small number of schools, low enrolment especially among the girl child and staffing problems. To curb these trends 40% of the capital budget of the district assemblies is spent on education and infrastructure development." Teachers' awards have been instituted to motivate them and the World Food Programme, Catholic Relief Services and World Vision International provide one meal a day and school uniforms in selected schools to encourage girls to attend school.
He said the last phase of Bolgatanga-Bawku road has been awarded on contract at a cost of over 3 billion cedis and is expected to be completed in January.
The region was represented at the press conference by powerful sons and daughters including Madam Hawa Yakubu, MP for Bawku Central, Mr. C.K. Tedam, Member of Council of State, Mr. John Achuliwor, MP for Navrongo and Hajia Alima Mahama, Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development.