Government is poised to move Ghana beyond aid through the implementation of pragmatic policies and programmes which will fast-track the country's socio-economic development.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Bongo in the Upper East Region, Mr Peter Ayinbisa Ayamga, who made the statement in an address at Ghana's 61st Independence Anniversary Parade at Bongo, therefore, called on Ghanaians to keep faith with the Akufo-Addo administration.
The DCE noted that the theme for this year's anniversary--Ghana Beyond Aid--was very apt because effective mobilization and leveraging of Ghana's domestic savings and revenues could, indeed, wean the country off donor funding and grants, which often came with strings limiting the scope of fund utilization.
This, Mr Ayammga said, therefore, made it impossible for Government to spend on other equally important sectors of the economy with such donor funding.
The DCE observed that Ghana could even achieve more development independence through effective financial inclusion with credit services and savings for all, especially women. This he said, should be anchored on efficiency and accountability in the use of public resources.
Mr Ayamga said the goal of government was to strengthen Ghana's position as a magnet for investment in productive ventures to create jobs for the youth.
He said for a start, the first year of the NPP government had witnessed the stabilization of the macro-economy and real growth in most sectors of the economy while deliberate programmes were being implemented to make the business and private sectors very conducive, as well as investment in a health system that catered for all, provision of quality teachers for an improved school system and the provision of good drinking water for the populace, among others.
According to Mr Ayamga, human resource development was one important area that Government's development agenda focused on.
In this regard, he said, substantial amounts of resources, including human, physical and financial, had been devoted to the education sector in order to ensure that the country produced the requisite human resource to man the economy.
He said, for instance, that the Free Senior High School Policy and the restoration of teacher-trainee and nursing-trainee allowances were all geared towards expanding the human resource base of the country.
Mr Ayamga disclosed that the Free SHS Programme in 2018 alone had a total enrollment for the Gowrie SHS, the Bongo SHS and Zorkor SHS standing at 1,747 students, adding that these numbers were expected to go further up in the coming years because Government planned to pump more funds into the programme.
Touching on hygiene and sanitation efforts in the district, the DCE disclosed that one important intervention was the implementation of a Community-Led Total Sanitation [CLTS] programme, the main objective of which was to improve hygiene in the communities and make the entire district an open-defecation-free (ODF) zone by 2019.
He said through the Assembly's efforts and those of its partners, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) had already declared about 29 communities as ODF while many more had been triggered to follow suit.
Mr Ayamga appealed to the chiefs and Assembly Members to collaborate with the Assembly's Environmental Health Unit to make the intervention a success.
He paid glowing tribute to the country's forebears for their selfless contributions to Ghana's development over the decades and charged the young school children to emulate the shining examples of "our fore fathers" whose toil and bloodshed had made Ghana what she had become today.
A total of 16 Primary Schools, 27 Junior High Schools and nine Senior High Schools as well as some school cadet corps and civil society organizations took part in the march past while Certificates were presented to some of the schools that excelled in the marching exercise.
They included Bongo SHS which topped the SHSs category, with St. Joachim's R/C Academy of Kuyelungu emerging first in the Junior High Schools bracket while St. Anne's R/C Primary was adjudged the best for the Primary Schools section.
Source: ISD (Peter Atogewe Wedam)