The Mayor of Tamale, Mr. Mohammed Amin Adam, has said the criterion used by the Millennium Challenge Authority (MiDA) to qualify certain districts in the Northern region as beneficiaries of the Millennium Challenge Account had some fundamental flaws.

He explained that the Authority used the Integrated Tamale Fruit Company (ITFC) a South African company operating in the Northern region as basis, which would not benefit all people in the region.

“How do you use a foreign commodity as basis to give aid while there were sorghum, shea products, groundnuts and millet, which were farmer friendly to all citizens of the North,” he questioned.

He said the shea industry alone could reduce poverty more than any other commodity if it was given proper attention.

Mr. Adam raised these concerns in Tamale at a two-day participatory Monitoring and Evaluation workshop of the MCA programmes in the Northern region.

The Concerned Citizens Association of Tamale (CCAT) in collaboration with the Ghanaian Developing Communities Association (GDCA), a Tamale NGO organised the workshop.

The purpose was to see how best stakeholders in development could help in making the MCA programme in Ghana a success and to ensure that participants understood the programmes aims and objectives to help the communities with the right messages.

Mr. Adam said any intervention in the country aimed at reducing poverty in Northern Ghana without considering shea nuts was bound to fail, saying, “A research indicates that there are more than nine million shea nut trees in the Northern Region alone, which needed to be given the necessary attention.”

He said since independence efforts had been made to reduce poverty in the north, but ironically the north always received smaller chunk of the assistance that foreign donors give for the development of the north and that the situation needed to be reversed.

Mr. Adam mentioned the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS), where smaller amounts were channeled to the north, which could not help to achieve the needed change in poverty levels in the three northern regions.

He said the MCA appeared to be the most organised intervention to help reduce poverty and stressed the need for proper monitoring and evaluation so that aids’ coming to the north was not diverted.

Source: GNA