The participation of Mariam Iddrisu, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Sagnarigu in the Northern Region in the United Nations’ World Urban Forum (WUF 9) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, appears to be paying off.

The MCE, who shared her practical experience in community connect programmes that she undertook in the Sagnarigu Municipality and their success stories for the participants, was able to market her municipality, which was carved out of Tamale Metropolitan Assembly, to the investing community in Malaysia and beyond.

Shea butter attracted many visitors to the Ghana stand at the forum.

The investors were particularly interested in shea butter from the Northern Region, which the MCE aggressively marketed.

There was mad rush for the few samples of shea butter Ms Iddrisu sent to the UN conference, with companies announcing plans to export the product to the world market.

Some of the companies also announced plans to invest in shea tree plantation for the wider market.

Some of the investors are cosmetic companies in Malaysia, Turkey, Thailand, Myanmar, formerly Burma, among others.

Mrs Iddrisu said the investors can invest in the establishment of modern market, plastic recycling factory, irrigation systems for vegetable farming and bricks and tiles factory, as well as development of a 200-acre forest reserve into zoo and recreational park, among others.

Some of the companies are Azimuth; JN sustainable & Clean Energy Malaysia, UTHM – University Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, which wants to partner with the Tamale Technical University.

Speaking at a forum on civil engagement in the New Urban Agenda, the MCE explained that the vision for cities and human settlements for the participation of urban dwellers fosters social cohesion, inclusion and safety in peaceful and pluralistic society.

She stated that building partnership between nations, governments, local authorities and civil society will be crucial for implementing the New Urban Agenda that will form the foundation for policies and approaches that address the urban Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Goal 11 to make cities more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

“New initiatives such as participatory budgeting, citizen-based monitoring, self enumeration and planning have emerged as a new form of direct partnership between state organizations and civil society, according to her.

She called on stakeholders to show commitment in utilizing innovative tools, including information and communications technology, to encourage inclusive civil responsibility and broad participation to contribute to responsible governance, as well as increase efficiency.

Ghana’s delegation to the WUF 9 was led by the Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Hajia Alima Mahama.

source: the Daily Guide