Ghana

159 SOCO projects complete, 397 more under construction in 6 regions

A total of 159 projects under the Gulf of Guinea Northern Regions Social Cohesion (SOCO) Project has been completed, the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, has said.

According to the ministry, 397 more projects under the SOCO are at various levels of completion.

On the sideline of the Civil Service Week in Accra last week, Head of Public Relations at the Local Government Ministry, Madam Matilda Tettey, told journalists that the project was progressing steadily.

“Over 556 projects under the SOCO project have taken off and 159 of them have been completed and 397 others are ongoing.

“After the sod-cutting by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the pace of work has peaked and the implementers are on the ground working hard for the timeline to be met,” she said.

Apart from the infrastructural projects, Madam Tettey said social cohesion activities were underway in the communities like peace messages, empowering beneficiaries economically to ensure that the pull factors of extremism were tamed.

The Civil Service Week, on the theme “Combating threat to sub-regional peace and security: The perspective of the Civil Service” is to showcase the projects and programmes of the various ministries and their agencies.

The theme, Madam Tettey said, aligns with the object of the SOCO Project especially as the election approaches.

The SOCO Project is a pro­active response to the surging spillover of fragility, conflict, and violence from the Sahel to the northern border regions with the objective to improve regional collaboration and the socioeconomic and climate change resilience of border zone communities.

Interventions of the project are aimed at preventing the spread of conflict from the Sahel region, reduce vulnerability to climate change, strengthen local institutions, improve economic opportunities, build public trust, and strengthen regional dialogue across the Gulf of Guinea countries – Benin, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Togo.

It targets the northern regions of the Gulf of Guinea countries exposed to conflict and climate risks.

Beneficiary regions in Ghana include Upper East, Upper West, Savannah, Northern, North East and Oti regions.

Some of the projects are mechanised boreholes, educational infrastructure, health facilities, construction of markets, earth dams and other critical physical infrastructure.

The US$150 million project which commenced last year is expected to terminate in 2027.

In total, 586 projects are expected to be executed across the 48 districts in the six beneficiary regions.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI