The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) is to launch a master plan that will serve as a blue print to the transformation of the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone of Ghana.The planning process is expected to position the SADA Zone to attract investors and investments, create opportunities and generate employment and economic growth.
It is in partnership with Singaporean tow development firm, Surbana Jurong, and local institutions aimed at giving a new face to selected cities in the zone. Although the zone, comprising 64 districts in six regions, occupies 54.4 per cent of the land area of and home to a third of the country‘s population, it lags behind development, mainly as a result of natural, social and economic disadvantages.
This is also in spite of immense natural resources, resilient and hardworking people, a vibrant culture rooted in thousands of years of history. The master planning process is, therefore, to help find innovative ways of transforming the zone into a viable economic hot pot for the investors.
“The idea of undertaking the robust master planning process and finding answers to the key questions gained momentum during the 2015 annual week celebration, which was hosted by SADA in March 2015 (SABIF 2015),” a statement from the authority said.
The statement recalled that during the programme, the Ghana Institute of Engineers (GhiE) and other stakeholders, including the Town and Country Planning (TCPD), discussed ways SADA could facilitate a process that would result into a total transformation of the Zone.The discussion hinged on how to use the vast resources and energies of the zone to catalyse investments into game-changing initiatives, it added.
“The Master Plan will provide an integrated data management system, including high resolution maps, develop the SADA Regional Concept Plan and deliver the Tamale City and Buipe City Master Plans. “The Tamale City and Buipe City Masterplans will include Zoning Plans and Urban Design Proposals, environment plans, transport, utilities and ICT infrastructure proposals, and an online and GIS-based land management and property tax system,” it explained. It noted that the implementation of the master plan would be led by the leadership and technical personnel of the beneficiary cities.
The plan will also review the planning framework and conduct socio-economic analysis aimed at developing a unique regional vision, prescribing specific economic sectors, recommending game-changing regional projects as well as supporting SADA’s investment promotion drive within the Zone.
In achieving this Master Plan, three consultants from Surbana Jurong were invited to a round table discussion at Alisa Hotel, Accra involving diverse stakeholders including the Deputy Chairperson and members of the Ghana National Planning Commission, the Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD), various experts, Development Partners, professional institutions such as the Ghana Institute of Engineers (GhIE) and the Ghana Institution of Planners, Representatives of Political Parties, the Minister In-Charge of Public Private Partnerships, local and international private sector representatives, civil society bodies and staff and Board members of SADA among others.
This meeting provided baseline information drawing from the interim report of the SADA Zone Spatial Development Framework exercise that SADA was conducting with the TCPD, and set the parameters of the master-planning exercise. The meeting endorsed the planning framework presented by the Surbana International Pte Ltd representatives, among others. Subsequently, the SADA Board requested Surbana International Pte Ltd to present a Service Proposal.
Mr Wong Heang Fine, Group CEO, Surbana Jurong Private Limited said “We are very happy to be a strategic partner for Ghana’s transformation. SJ has completed master plans for over 30 countries around the world, including 10 in Africa. This is our largest master planning project to date and we look forward to working closely with SADA to develop a master plan that all Ghanaians can be proud of.