Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has said the Akufo-Addo government has fulfilled its 2016 promise to the people of Zongo, and will do more when Ghanaians renew its mandate.
Speaking during a visit to the National Chief Imam yesterday, to officially inform him of his re-nomination as running mate to President Akufo-Addo Dr Bawumia recalled that prior to the 2016 elections, the President promised to establish a ministry and a special fund to facilitate the development of Zongo communities.
“During the 2016 elections campaign, President Nana Akufo-Addo was here and I came with him. He promised the National Chief Imam that should God make him President, he would look after the welfare of the Zongos and Muslims. He will run an inclusive government,” Dr Bawumia recalled.
“As we prepared our 2016 manifesto, we looked at the Zongos and we identified two key problems that we thought, God willing, if we had the chance, we would address. One was education,” he added.
Dr Bawumia said the NPP wanted to prioritise the development in Zongos “because we wanted to move away from the rice and sugar type of development. We wanted to focus on the real needs of the people and we wanted to move away from what we will do when it is Ramadan and Hajj, which seemed to be the way the Zongos were dealt with. We thought we needed a vehicle to prioritise and address the needs of Zongos on an ongoing basis.”
“It is in that context that President Nana Akufo-Addo did two things. First, he established a whole ministry for inner city and zongo development as well as the Zongo Development Fund with funding provided for in our annual budgets,” he stressed.
He added: “If you go around a lot of Zongos now, you will feel the impact of this ministry, whether it is classroom blocks, toilet facilities, drainage systems, water, roads, bridges, clinics, etc. The Ministry and the Zongo Development Fund are addressing many problems in Zongos across the country,” said Dr Bawumia.
Dr Bawumia noted that education, as the surest way of development and poverty eradication, is a key area of focus to the President, hence his massive investment in the sector.
“Most of us come from the villages and the only reason we have been able to move ahead, one way or the other, is through education. So we said that one of the biggest things we needed to do was education.”
He said the Free SHS policy has provided free access to secondary education for every child from Zongo in Ghana, saying this is a demonstration of President Akufo-Addo’s commitment to ensuring a brighter future for the Zongo and Ghanaian child.