The United Nations Development Programme ( UNDP) has launched the Northern Ghana Human Development Report (NG-HDR) 2018 dubbed "Bridging the Poverty Gap and Fostering Socio-Economic Transformation for All".
The report explores developmental challenges and opportunities in Northern Ghana and offers suggestions for poverty eradication in the zone.
The launching of the report took place during the weekend at the University for Development Studies (UDS), Tamale campus.
The launch was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning, UDS, the University of Ghana and the Northern Development Authority (NDA).
The NG-HDR is based on a study that investigated livelihood issues relating to health, education and infrastructure gaps as well as governance and environmental issues.
It's findings revealed that, though the northern region has witnessed rapid development over the years, more efforts is required to transform the zone for the country to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) , especially SDG 1 which aims to eradicate poverty in all forms.
Ms Gita Honwana Welch, the UNDP Ghana Country Director, who gave an address on behalf of Ms Christine Evans-Klock, the United Nations Resident Coordinator, called on all stakeholders to come to a common understanding about the sources of inequalities and gaps in the zone and take the needed measures to ensure that citizens in the northern parts of the country fully participate in the growth of the nation.
She said the report suggests massive investments in the infrastructure developments and recognize the importance of complementing the Government's "One Village One Dam Initiative" to boost agricultural production in the northern zone.
Ms Welch said the report also highlights how improvement in road and water transport networks; and investment in warehousing, cold chains and processing infrastructure would help increase value additions and reduce post-harvest losses, to facilitate industrialisation in the zone.
Professor George Gyan-Baffour, the Minister for Planning, said it entailed a focus on the transformation agenda and the significant economic potential, which could be leveled to reducing poverty in a sustainable manner in the zone.
He, however, said the recommendations made in the report require specific actions on the part of all stakeholders especially government and the private sector with respect to infrastructure and service delivery, which was one of the visions of the President to creating jobs and improving the livelihood of people in the country.
Prof Gyan-Baffour called on the development authorities and the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to focus on the recommendations made out in the report to help bridge the poverty gap and bring prosperity for all.
Dr Alhaji Abdel-Majeed Haroun , the Chief Executive Officer of NDA, commended the UNDP for the NR-HDR adding that the NDA shall put up efforts to improve on the human development index in the north especially at the grassroots level.
He said the NDA seeks to diversify the economy in northern Ghana by not only relying on support from government alone but also bring in private and foreign investors who would be willing to help alleviate poverty in the zone.
Dr Alhaji Haroun said the NDA also intends to make more research and improve on the shea butter industries and other industries in the zone to provide more avenue for employment for the youth.