Central region

Living Standards Survey: Central region is third richest in Ghana

Central region

Contrary to the claim that the central region is the fourth poorest in Ghana, the narrative has changed for good but unfortunately on the blind side of many people.

According to the Ghana Statistical Service’s Living Standards Survey (LSS), conducted in 2017 with estimates in 2021, on regional poverty levels, the central region fell from the 4th poorest of the 10 regions in 2006 to the fourth richest of the 16 regions in 2021.

It also remains the most productive region per capita and the 3rd in terms of per capita income levels for people engaged in agriculture, fishing, fish processing, formal public works and commerce.

The region is 4th in terms of unemployment and youth unemployment rates, 3rd in terms of road density and access and 2nd in terms of opportunity for a demographic dividend with a population growth rate of 2.1% .

Dr. Kodjo Esseim Mensah-Abrampa, Director General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) said during a stakeholder forum to solicit views on addressing endemic poverty in the region.

The engagement was part of the activities of the ongoing Central Regional Trade, Tourism and Investment Fair, 2022 at Adisadel Park in Cape Coast.

The eight-day exhibition on the theme: “Promoting Trade, Tourism and Investments in the Center Region: Challenges, Prospects and Solutions” aims to highlight the investment potential of the Region.

Delighted by the changing narrative, Dr Mensah-Abrampa, said it was an aberration for the region to be labeled as one of the poorest parts of the country, given the many resources it boasted.

“It is very sad that the central region is considered one of the poorest despite its abundant resources. We are the fortress of tourism in addition to immense capable land, gold, timber, lithium and industrious human resources.

“We must all work diligently and in tandem with all stakeholders, especially the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to propel the regional development agenda. We must all join hands and fight all social evils by creating wealth to reduce poverty.

Dr Mensah-Abrampa, said the region was at the heart of Ghana’s development cordon, surrounded by the West, North West, Ashanti, East and Greater Accra regions.

According to him, the privileged location has a considerable potential for sharing with strong development of the energy exchanges represented by the exogenous inflows and outflows of goods and services from the regions.

However, the existing barriers to trade, tourism and investment, especially trade access to major market centers through arterial roads, need to be seriously addressed to alleviate the cost of doing business in the region.

Regarding tourism, Dr. Mensah-Abrampa mentioned the lack of up-to-date tourism information on the embodiment of tourism, networking, hotel costs and entertainment to welcome and engage tourists as loopholes that must be vigorously pursued to stimulate the growth of the sector.

Nevertheless, he had prayed for regular capacity building and reliable information on investments, attractions, readiness, land, energy, access, local counterparts and investment areas.

“We must have a plan and a call for action incorporated into the medium and long term development plans of the various assemblies focusing on the integrated regional development plan,” he said.

Ms. Justina Marigold Assan, Central Regional Minister, expressed the commitment of the Regional Coordinating Council to work with stakeholders to enhance and sustain regional successes.

“We are working to reduce administrative bureaucracies and bottlenecks that frustrate, attract or retain investors,” she said.

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