Ministry of Local Government Launches $24m Rural Development Project.
The Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization, and Rural Development has Launched A $24m Development Project.
The Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization, and Rural Development has launched a $24 million Integrated Rural Development Project. This project is a crucial step towards alleviating poverty and fostering holistic development in rural areas.
In a significant move to boost rural development, the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization, and Rural Development has unveiled the second phase of the Integrated Rural Development Project (IRDP). This ambitious project aims to bridge the critical infrastructure gap and empower 23 deprived districts throughout the country. With a budget of $24 million, the initiative will span from 2022 to 2027 and is a collaborative effort between the government and the renowned OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).
The official launch of the project took place in Accra, spearheaded by the sector minister, Dan Botwe. Alongside enhancing the education and health sectors through infrastructure development, the IRDP is committed to eradicating poverty and stimulating sustainable income growth within rural communities with the aid of microcredit provisions. With four core components encompassing the provision of socio-economic infrastructure, credit facilitation for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), outreach, sensitization, capacity building, and management and coordination, the project aims to bring about significant positive change.
The IRDP’s realization is made possible through the joint efforts of various stakeholders. OFID will contribute $20 million as a loan facility, while the government and beneficiary districts will provide $800,000 and $3.2 million, respectively. In particular, the beneficiary districts include Tema West in the Greater Accra Region, Afigya Kwabre North, Sekyere Central, Offinso North, and Sekyere Afram Plains in the Ashanti Region, as well as Okere, Akuapim South, and Ayensuano in the Eastern Region.
To ensure responsible project management, Minister Dan Botwe emphasized the crucial need for adherence to robust procurement procedures, urging MMDCEs (Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Chief Executives) to value every investment. Furthermore, he emphasized the importance of local expertise utilization, encouraging MMDCEs to rely on their engineers, planners, and technical staff to provide accurate progress reports on the projects.
Highlighting the significance of tangible outcomes, Minister Dan Botwe urged MMDCEs to ensure targeted project implementation that accurately caters to the needs of local communities. Emphasizing that projects should directly impact the lives of the people, he expressed his concerns about initiatives that solely provide profit-making opportunities without addressing the fundamental issues faced by rural communities. Former Vice-Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Emeritus Professor Kwasi Kwafo Adarkwa, echoed similar sentiments, stressing the importance of prioritizing the beneficiaries’ voices and needs during project execution.
Justice Mensah Amankwah, the Chief Executive Officer of the Social Investment Fund, enthusiastically welcomed the launch of IRDP Phase 2 as a major step towards reducing poverty and promoting comprehensive growth in rural areas. Citing the success of the first phase, which saw the completion of 256 infrastructure projects, he expressed optimism about the greater benefits the second phase will bring to the newly selected 23 beneficiary districts. Stressing the significance of strategic investment in deprived areas, Amankwah asserted that a thriving local economy would accelerate decentralization efforts and empower rural residents to actively contribute to the nation’s development.
The IRDP aligns with the government’s vision to ensure comprehensive development across every corner of the country. It represents a transformative endeavor to uplift marginalized communities, promote self-sufficiency, and create a more inclusive and prosperous society. With the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization, and Rural Development spearheading this groundbreaking initiative, the stage is set for a future where integrated rural development becomes synonymous with progress and equitable growth.