SADA Districts’ Investment Opportunities

We are delighted once more to partner with USAID Financing Ghanaian Agriculture Project (USAID-FinGAP) and the Regional and District Economic Planning Officers of the 5 regions to produce these Investment Guides for the 63 Districts of the SADA Zone.

The first Guides, produced in March 2015 for the SADA Business and Investment Forum (SABIF 2015), focused predominantly on the agricultural potentials of these districts.

This second volume expands into other sectors significantly. The main purpose of these Investment Guides is to showcase the immense potentials that these districts offer for boosting Ghana’s economic growth and transformation if supported with the commensurate share of public and private investments and supportive policies. The second objective is to provide guidance to the decentralised planning and budgeting process as to the investment and growth potentials that needs to be leveraged with public policy and resources. These Guides should also feed into the National Long Term Development Plan (NLTDP) and the SADA Zone master plan underway, both of which should lead to the achievement of the Social Development Goals (SDGs) which is rooted in the concept of “leaving no one behind” and “zero extreme poverty 2030” that Ghana has signed on to. The third objective is more specific, although related to the first – to entice Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians and international development partners to put money and technical support into these areas. Our hope is that these Guides and SADA’s continued effort (with the support of partners like USAID) to highlight both the neglect and opportunities of these areas will contribute to changing the lopsided nature of growth and investments in our country. This lopsidedness is both wasteful – we are not optimising growth and development in the country – as well as dangerous and costly – we are entrenching and exacerbating inequalities spatially and reproducing poverty in the process. Deepening spatial inequalities is particularly dangerous for sustainable peace and security.

These concerns are borne out by the facts as demonstrated by several recent publications – the poverty and inequality maps recently published by Ghana Statistical Service and the World Bank show the SADA districts standing out as the poorest and some getting poorer; the World Bank 2014 publication on poverty in Ghana shows declining performance of food sector agriculture which the SADA zone relies most on for livelihoods and incomes; the National Spatial Development Framework published by Town and Country Planning Department noted that the result of the export-oriented policies pursued under structural adjustment was to concentrate investment in a few sectors in the industrial core, especially within the free trade zones.

Between 1994 and 2013, 84 percent of all FDI projects were located in the Greater Accra region, followed by Ashanti Region with 6 percent and Western Region with 4 percent. The three northern regions combined accumulated just 1 percent of total FDI projects in this period The SADA zone possesses most of the arable land; is well drained by the Volta river basin and has small population density which when combined with the right technologies, extension services and market and public infrastructure represent Ghana’s hope for breaking import dependency of agricultural products; stabilising its currency through exports, and a new route to industrialisation beyond the oil and gas – led industrialisation model.

The “Feed the Future” program of USAID shows what is possible to achieve in agriculture productivity, incomes and nutrition with the appropriate support and focus. We are grateful to USAID-FINGAP, the Regional and District Coordination Councils of the Brong Ahafo, Volta, Northern, Upper east and Upper West regions, as well as to the staff of SADA. Charles A. Abugre, CEO