The government is investing additional US$145 million under the Ghana Secondary Cities Support Programme (GSCSP) to improve critical infrastructure across selected metropolitan, municipal and districts in the country.
This would bring to US$245 million the amount spent under the programme by end of year 2025.
The GSCSP is a Government of Ghana initiative supported by the International Development Association (IDA) with an initial credit of US$100 million from the World Bank.
Originally scheduled to be implemented over a five-year period – 2019-2023- after a mid-term review of the Programme, an additional financing of US$145 million was approved with an extension of the programme completion to December 2025.
Speaking at a sod-cutting ceremony for the construction of a storey building at the Mandela Market in Agona Swedru on Thursday as part of the revised programme, Mr Botwe, MP, Okere, said the GSCSP would reshape the urban landscapes and fortify institutional capabilities of the 35 Municipal Assemblies and the 16 Regional Coordinating Councils.
According to him, the programme forms part of government’s overall efforts to achieving the objectives of the National Urban Policy Framework (NUPF).
Under the first phase of the programme, Agona Swedru has benefited bituminous surfacing, paving, and channel improvements on key streets like Greenland, Falcon, and Eduful, construction of phase one of a three-storey building with 60 lockable stores, fire post, security post, crèche, and pavement at the Mandela Market, resealing of 0.55 km Otabil road with minor drainage repairs amongst others.
The current phase include the construction of a two-storey building with 60 lockable stores, parking lot, restaurant, sick bay at Mandela Market, bitumen surfacing of 4.65 km roads with walkways, road line marking, and u-drains at Woraba and Yaabem amongst others.
Underscoring the importance of community participation in development and realising the objectives of the programme, Mr Botwe rallied Assembly and Unit Committee members of the Agona West Municipal Assembly to ensure judicious use of the allocated funds.
Earlier, Mr Botwe had lashed out at managers of the Awutu Senya East Assembly for what he said was their failure to champion development in the area.
Expressing his frustration at a sod-cutting ceremony at Kasoa as part of the GSCSP, Mr Botwe questioned the continued prevalence of uncleanliness in Ghana despite the powers wielded by the Assemblies to ensure that their environments were kept clean.
“You have no excuse to make your assemblies dirty,” he stated as he outlined the unique role of the assemblies as fortified by the Local Government Act and the Constitution.
Meanwhile MP for Awutu Senya East and Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Hawa Koomson, wants the status of the area elevated to a metropolis.
Citing the municipality’s population growth over the period and other criteria, she said the area had met the requirements necessary for designation as a metropolis.
FROM JULIUS YAO PETETSI, SWEDRU