Northern Development Authority Bill to speed up development in the Three Regions of the North

Photo credit: Africani Sankofa

The Northern Development Authority Bill, 2017, is being considered by Members of Parliament on the floor of the House.

The Bill seeks to establish the Northern Development Authority, to provide a framework for accelerated socio-economic development of the constituencies and areas in the Upper East, the Upper West and the Northern Regions of Ghana.

It stipulates that the Authority as part of its functions, should lead and co-ordinate local development initiatives in the Northern Zone. These include facilitating public-private partnership to stimulate investments, and facilitating the acquisition of credit by indigenous entities which operate within the zone. This is aimed at creating jobs and business opportunities for the people.

Presenting the report of the Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises, Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, informed Parliament that government recognises that Article 36(2) of the 1992 Constitution obligates the state to ‘take all necessary steps to establish a sound and healthy economy whose underlying principles shall, among other things, include undertaking even and balanced development of all the regions and every part of each region of Ghana, and in particular, improving the conditions of life in the rural areas, and re-addressing any imbalance in development between the rural and the urban areas.’

He said that although Ghana has made a steady economic progress since the return to democracy, many parts of the country, including the Northern, the Upper West and the Upper East Regions, are lagging behind in socio-economic development.

The Chairman also stated that in order to address the lop-sided development, there has been the need to ensure equal and equitable distribution of the benefits of economic growth across the country, to promote integrated development, and reduce the levels of poverty in the Northern Zone.

He added that the government, therefore, proposed to establish the Northern Development Authority.

The Committee also observed that the establishment of the Northern Development Authority will complement, in particular, the efforts of Municipal and District Assemblies in addressing the development deficit of the three Regions of the North.

In this regard, the Committee underlined the need for the Authority to collaborate effectively with these existing state agencies with related functions in order to avoid duplications in the pursuit of collective goals.





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