Western Regional Minister Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah assured that the region will remain resolute and focused on its investment momentum.
With that in mind, he said a youth summit would be held in the region in October this year, where captains of industry would address young people on entrepreneurship and the hands-on training programs that would prepare them to become masters by themselves.
Mr Darko-Mensah, who said this at the First Coordinating Council (WRCC) meeting in Takoradi, said the hands-on training would cover tiling, bead and honey making, mushroom farming and snails.
He said the program will be replicated in six areas of the Region and that seven more will take place next year.
The regional minister said they envision the region to become a robust and resilient financial ecosystem and a hub that provides unparalleled financial services to meet the needs of the business community.
This, he said, would strategically reposition the region to take advantage of the enormous benefits that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) brings to Ghana and the West Africa sub-region.
He hinted that the WRCC, in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service, would come up with modalities to imbibe entrepreneurship in primary through secondary school children to prepare them for work and make them competitive even in the classroom. – beyond the coasts of Ghana.
According to the minister, with the number of large projects, including the construction of two interchanges, the construction of the Agona-Nkwanta road in Tarkwa, the construction of the Takoradi international airport, the oil hub facilities and the base of operations. advance (FOB) in Jomoro district.
The development of the railway, the redevelopment of the Takoradi market circle and the construction of the operational headquarters of GPNC would illuminate the horizon of the Region and strengthen its investment potential.
Mr Darko-Mensah said that although the region had some successes, it was aware of the challenges, stressing that the region was still struggling with chieftaincy conflicts, illegal mining activities (galamsey), poor road network, youth unemployment, liquid and solid waste management and abandoned projects.
On the COVID-19 pandemic, he said a total of 64,300 doses of AstraZeneca and 3,300 Johnson and Johnson vaccines have been received in the Region and 19,388 people have been fully vaccinated, which represents 1 , 38% of the eligible population of 1,445,730.
He said COVID-19 continued to wreak havoc and affect lives and livelihoods, noting as of September 15, 2021, the Region had recorded 239 active cases with 61 deaths and 6,777 recoveries.
Mr Darko-Mensah said Sekondi-Takoradi, Tarkwa Nsuaem and Effia-Kwasimintsim still remain hot spots in the region with active case counts of 120, 44 and 30 respectively.
Regarding the district, one factory, the regional minister said that four more factories had been added to the KEDA ceramics factory in Shama out of the 24 projects approved in the region.
He mentioned the Narubi rubber processing plant in Wassa East, GKV and Hodiak Plus Company Limited in STMA and GREL in Ahanta West as new entrants.
He noted, however, that funding remained a challenge for some of the companies and said steps were underway to address the situation.
Regarding the planting for food and employment program, Mr. Darko-Mensah said that for the period under review, a total of 9,651 farmers comprising 6,722 males and 2,929 females benefited from it, while 1,000 breeding pigs for distribution in five districts were carried out to increase the number of domestic animals, while reducing imports of meat and meat products
The regional minister was unhappy with the performance of many of the region’s MMDAs in the national ranking, noting that apart from Effia-Kwasimintsim, STMA, Jomoro and Ellembelle with percentage scores no 83.57 percent, 83.57 percent, 81.88 percent and 80.69 percent, which also places them respectively 34th, 34th, 48th and 58th in the national ranking.
Wassa Amenfi Central performed appallingly and unsatisfactorily, with the remaining assemblies showing average performance compared to their counterparts in other regions.
“This is not something we should be proud of as a Region that prides itself on being a model Region and where the best is, it certainly should not be our history,” he added.