The Chief Executive Officer of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), Charles Abugre has declared that plans are being made to transform Tamale into the ‘Dubai’ of Ghana.
Charles Bugre in an interview with Citi News revealed this as part of new plans to transform the SADA zone that covers the three Northern regions, parts of the Volta region and the Brong Ahafo Region. Mr. Charles Abugre said the intent is to develop a Long Term Development Plan for the rapid transformation of the SADA zone.
We can turn that place into more or less your future Dubai, but a much more pleasant Dubai. You can green the place, you can do industry in the place, you can build major shopping centres for the West African region in that place, and you can build warehouses, you can design a proper city that is clean, green, vibrant” Mr. Abugre explained.
As part of the new initiatives, SADA has signed an agreement with a Singaporean company, Surbana International to provide a comprehensive development plan for the SADA zone, transform urban centers and collect crucial data on the region for development.
He explained that, under the deal signed with Surbana international, they are expected to “produce a concept plan, urban master plans for Buipe and Tamale, and build a database for the various MMDAs in the SADA zone”.
Mr. Abugre related that SADA intends to transform Buipe into a major port city that will become an important inland port within the West African sub-region.
We are interested in making the Volta Lake an active water transport corridor, this will trigger tourism in the area, and encourage the bulk transport of cargo”, he added.
He further explained that an industrial city can be developed on the back of Buipe being transformed into a port city, where there will be linkages between Tema and Buipe through Kintampo (the southernmost city in the SADA zone).
Surbana International is also expected to develop for MMDAs a database and a system for managing their land and property taxes. According to him, “it is not surprising that we can’t deal with our sanitation systems; we can’t coexist and so on and so forth”. This he said because the property tax system in the country is a “mess”.
The plans being developed are expected to be launched by February 2017. Charles Bugre explains that, there is already a lot of investor interest in the area.
We’ve done a feasibility studies for an area of 20,000 hectares; 10,000 hectares is expected to be taken up before the end of year.”
The area designated as the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone, also known as the SADA zone, occupies 54.4% of the land area of Ghana and holds huge agricultural and development potentials but remains the least developed area in the country.
SADA hit a deadlock after investigations revealed that monies allocated for projects had been doled out with little or no work done.
The President later reconstituted the board but not much has been done to properly retrieve monies that had been wasted under the programme. The initiative which is supposed to bridge the gap between the country’s north and south, has largely become a mockery particularly due to a failed guinea fowl project.
However, it is hoped that the promising statements by Charles Abugre will materialize in due course, and make up for previous disappointments.
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