Some opinion leaders in zongo communities in the Central Region are in high expectation that the Inner City and Zongo Development Ministry will address educational and job challenges in zongo communities.
Central regional Chief Imam, Yusif Mohammed Gamagatey and the Central Regional Mossi Chief, Osman Amadu, are for instance optimistic the ministry could fast track development in the zongos.
Several initiatives have been passed by successive governments towards the development of the northern part of Ghana, where most zongo dwellers hail from.
Under the Kufuor-led NPP government, parliament in November 2008, passed the Northern Development Fund Bill to provide a long term strategies including community-driven development actions which was supposed to implement strategic infrastructure in the area of road, energy, water, security and peace, while also focusing on investing in small-hold agriculture to create jobs.
In September 2010 under the Mills-Mahama administration, came the Savannah Acceleration Development Authority to coordinate a development agenda for the savanna ecological zones which are basically the three regions in the north.
President Akufo-Addo’s government has also instituted the Inner City and Zongo Development Ministry which intends to improve the livelihoods of people living in the zongo communities with Abubakar Saddique Boniface as minister-designate.
Although some people have questioned the need for such a ministry, Central Regional Mossi Chief is hopeful the creation of the Inner City and Zongo Development Ministry will create jobs to engage some unemployed zongo youth who are tagged as notorious in society.
“We are worried about the fact that our children are unemployed and we try to control some of them who allegedly engage in unhealthy businesses but they often disregard our admonishing due to lack of jobs,” Osman Amadu said.
The Chief Imam in the Central Region Yusif Mohammed Gamagatey expects the ministry to transform the lives of the zongo people by enhancing the educational level of their children while creating jobs for the unemployed graduates in their communities.
“We need jobs and our other major concerns are meeting the quality educational needs of our wards and employment for our graduates.’”
He is however worried the ministry operating from the presidency will make communication between zongo leaders and the ministry difficult.
Some youths who also shared their views stated that the ministry and the nominated minister Abubakar Saddique Boniface whose portfolio will facilitate the transformation of urban slums to meet an appreciable standard are in the right direction.
By Spencer Kwabena Boateng Mensah|3news.com|Ghana