Mr Sulemana Alhassan, the Upper West Regional Minister, said the region has comparative advantage in cotton, sheabutter and cashew production and it is looking for investors to partner government to develop those sectors.
Government and the international community should also consider investing more in road infrastructure to promote internal and external trade between people in the region and neighbouring countries, he said.
Mr Alhassan was speaking on Wednesday during a visit to Wa by Ghana’s designated envoys to interact with stakeholders and discuss the potential investment opportunities to enable them to market the region abroad.He urged the diplomats to market the region on its priority areas in their respective countries to contribute significantly to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision of inclusive and integrated industrialisation policies and agricultural revitalisation.
Mr Alhassan said previous governments had made efforts to improve infrastructure development but the region still remained the least developed compared to others in the country.He said more than 80 per cent of people in the region were into both subsistence and commercial agriculture, depending largely on rainfall to cultivate crops such as maize, millet, rice, soyabeans, groundnuts, cotton, yam, cowpea and sorghum.Mr Alhassan said the region was endowed with arable land which helped in animal husbandry while the Black Volta and Sissili River could be developed into small scale irrigation systems as well as for aquaculture purposes to advance the economic fortunes of the region.On education, Mr Alhassan bemoaned the falling standards in recent years and appealed to the envoys to encourage investors into the sector to help improve standards.
Mr Alhassan mentioned the Wa-Naa Palace, the Gwollu Slave Wall and the Wechiau Hippopotamus Sanctuary as some of the tourist centres in the region which could be developed to bring in more revenue.The envoys advised the stakeholders to try to identify countries which had interest in their development priority areas and partner with them for the implementation of projects.They appealed to the government to make the Wa Airport functional for air travellers while the district assemblies provided decent toilet facilities in the communities to stop open defecation in order to attract investors.On education, they called for the provision of more technical and vocational institutions to promote the industrial development efforts and employment to the youth.