One of President Akufo-Addo’s reasons for establishing the Zongo Development Fund (ZDF) was to bridge the development gap between Zongos and other deprived communities, and the rest of the country.
In 2018, the fund was operationalised making it the first time such a vehicle for Zongo Development had been created.
It was also geared towards providing the Zongo community inclusive development through human capital development, infrastructure development, and also providing support for social integration.
Today, the ZDF boasts of a number of laudable projects, one of which is the area of investment in education in both infrastructure and direct support to needy but brilliant students from Zongos and other deprived communities.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Zongo Development Fund, Suleman Arafat Abdulai education is at the top of government’s list “and as a special vehicle for inclusive development in the Zongos, we cannot do otherwise, hence our focus on investing massively in the education of Zongo youth.”
The fund has seen the rehabilitation of some schools in communities.
The ZDF has constructed 12 and 6 unit classroom blocks in nearly 40 Zongo communities including; Agogo Zongo, Aboabo Zongo, Offinso Kokoti Zongo, Offinso Abofour Zongo, Ntonso Zongo, Atakrom, Zongo, Kpando Zongo, Nkawkaw Zongo, Juanso Zongo, Savelugu, Dielia Zongo.
The CEO says even more facilities could have been completed sooner but for the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Many more of such schools are under construction, and are at different stages across the country. Covid-19 stalled our works but we are on course, and hopefully, we will have more School infrastructure,” he said.
The ZDF has also provided ICT centres, and have also started a multi-purpose library project, with the first one completed at Nsawam Zongo.
In assisting brilliant but needy students, Arafat revealed that the support has come in two folds; fully-funded scholarship and grants, in order to be able to support more people.
“Through the instrumentality of Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, 40 brilliant but needy students from Zongo and other deprived communities are currently in Cuba studying medicine,” Arafat said.
He added that “we have also provided tertiary educational grants to hundreds of students to enable them pursue tertiary education in many fields.”
During the 2021 National Maulid, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia provided insight as to why the Akufo-Addo government has prioritised education, especially in deprived communities such as the Zongo.
“The government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has prioritised and focused on education because we are well aware of what education does to our people. It enhances productivity, creativity, and technological advancement,” he added.
“In addition, it plays a crucial role in securing economic and social progress. As I have always said, education is the greatest leveller. The only sustainable way we can transform our Zongo communities is through the education of our children.”
Government says is working to deliver on more of such projects in 2022 including the construction of its announced model secondary school for the Zongo community.
The Zongo Development Funds is also expected to construct three schools in Kasoa, Juaben Tamale.
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