The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) has stepped up plans towards the finalization of its master plan in developing the Northern savannah ecological zone and other priority areas by engaging Parliament.
The engagement with the legislature was to seek its input into the draft master plan which has been comprehensively prepared by its Singaporean partners, Surbana Juron, a subsidiary of State owned Temasek Holding.
The master plan which aims at positioning SADA as a green economic hub of Ghana and gateway to the Sahel focuses on pursuing aggressive agriculture (primary and irrigated agriculture as well as agriculture related infrastructure), urban development, forest and protected areas as well as roads and highway with special emphasis on rail and highway.
The over two decades master development plan will see Buipe being developed as a distribution center and heavy industrial hub for the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone. Here, the master plan focuses on the future extension of Buipe Port in integration for Volta Lake transportation plan as well as the integration of the Buipe Port/Logistic and industries as part of Buipe City master plan.
The Volta Lake is also being targeted. The project managers are seeking to develop an integrated transport and land use plan to optimize the role of Volta water transportation to boost the economic development in the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone.
There is also the focus on Tamale as the new central business district as investment gateway for the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone. Here, the project focuses on integrating offices, banks, retail, entertainment, hotel and convention in an integrated & walkable environment. The Tamale Airport would also be upgraded into an international airport.
Bolgatanga is also a priority where the project managers are seeking to develop a new dry port, logistic and free trade zone to serve Burkina Faso market.
But there is a challenge with funding.
Members of Parliament (MPs), especially, those in the SADA enclave are worried that the ambitious projects may remain on paper if the State continues to allocate meager amount of money towards the financing of the activities of the Authority.
Mr. Charles Abugri, Chief Executive Officer of SADA responding to the concerns of the MPs admitted that funding was a challenge to the Authority but noted that there is always a way out as government can partner private entities to initiate most of the above highlighted projects to bridge the North-South.