President John Dramani Mahama, during the Easter holidays reiterated his commitment to transform the Savanna areas of the country, in a special economic zone through the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA).
“I remain resolute in my belief that through SADA, the Savanna areas will be transformed into an economic zone with industries that will guarantee the people sustainable employment opportunities.
“It will transform the economy into one that produces what we need, what we eat and what we wear; an economy that will export rather than import our essential needs,” he said while addressing the 39th Gonjaland Youth Congress in Buipe as part of his visit to the Northern Region.
The theme for the congress was: “Ensuring the effective management of natural resources in Gonjaland — The role of the Gonjaland Youth Association”.
It provided a platform for unifying the youth of Gonja to share plans and experiences towards the development of Gonjaland.
During the one-day visit, President Mahama, also inaugurated the Savanna Cement Factory in Buipe, inspected the Produce Buying Company sheanut processing company, also in Buipe, and addressed the Konkomba Youth Congress at Saboba.
The cement factory, produces cement using clinker that is produced from limestone mined in Buipe.
Accompanying the President were Alhaji Baba Kamara, the National Security Advisor; Mr Kwasi Quartey, the Secretary to the President, and Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.
President Mahama said the government recognised the economic importance of Buipe, adding that the development taking place there and other parts of the Savanna region was what was envisaged to be the long-term benefits of the SADA initiative.
The government, he said, was working to position Buipe as the industrial hub of the northern part of the country, with opportunities for commercial business, agriculture and port linkages.
President Mahama touched on the numerous development projects going on in the Northern Region and the creation of opportunities for investment in the three regions of the north.
He said an inland port was being planned for Buipe to handle the inland cargo bound for Burkina Faso and other landlocked countries.
Feasibility studies were also being carried out in two locations in the Northern Region for the establishment of sugar cane plantations and sugar factories to produce for both local and foreign markets, he said.
He said the government was working on funding for five new district hospitals — Buipe, Bole and Yendi in the Northern Region, Somanya in the Eastern Region and Whetta in the Volta Region.
The Buipe District Hospital would have an ultra-modern accident and trauma centre, he said.
On roads, the President mentioned the already completed Fufulso-Sawla road and many others, both completed and yet to be completed, as a sign of the government’s commitment to improve the living conditions of the people
He commended the youth for working to promote peace and unity in Buipe and said the government would continue to place the youth at the centre of national development.
The Buipe-Wura, Abdulai Jinapor II, in a speech read on his behalf, commended the President for his quality leadership and promised the support of the chiefs and people of the area to the government as it embarked on more developmental projects in the area and other parts of the country.