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A working session to review and provide guidance on the Annual Workplan and Budget for the Gulf of Guinea Northern Regions Social Cohesion Project (SOCO) for the year 2023 has taken place in Aburi, in the Eastern Region.

The session provided the platform for participants to review the progress of the project, provide guidance on the Annual Workplan and Budget for the year 2023 as well as consolidate all subprojects selected by the 48 SOCO beneficiary Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies for the annual year.

Opening the session, the Chief Director for the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development, Madam Marian W. A. Kpakpah, explained that for the project to be successful, there was the need for comprehensive multi-disciplinary and multi-dimensional perspectives, thus, the working session with the NTC.

She called on participants; who make up the NTC to take advantage of the session to work with the stakeholders and beneficiaries of the project in mind to put in place interventions that will enable them to feel the impact of the project through improved social and economic development.

The NTC is the body that provides inter-agency technical guidance for the implementation of project components and makes policy recommendations to the Project Oversight Committee (POC) for decision-making.

The formation of the NTC  is to achieve effective collaboration with other MDAs to cover the relevant sectors of the project to ensure consistency of project development objectives with sectoral policies and programmes.

The membership of the NTC included the Ministries of Finance; Gender, Children and Social Protection; Food and Agriculture, National Security, Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and the Ministry of the Interior.

Others include the National Disaster and Management Organisation; National Development Planning Commission, Northern Development Agency, Ghana Immigration Service, as well as the National Youth Authority,

The Gulf of Guinea Northern Regions Social Cohesion (SOCO) Project is a sub-Sahel Regional project aimed at providing support for the northern parts of the Gulf of Guinea countries (Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and Benin), that are hardest hit by fragilities due to food insecurity and climate change, conflict and violence. These risk factors are anticipated to influence community members and youth within these sub-Sahel regions to be highly susceptible to extremist ideologies.

SOCO is expected to help improve the socio-economic resilience of 48 targeted districts in the Upper West, Upper East, Northern, North East, Savannah and Oti Regions through various components in the form of investments in Infrastructure, Local Economic Development and Youth Engagement activities.

It is expected to also provide an avenue to coordinate border-area investments, information and improve regional dialogues. The project uses the Community Driven Development (CDD) approach where decisions for investments are taken by communities in a participatory manner, to promote a sense of ownership for the investments that will be made.

The beneficiary District Assemblies will lead the implementation at the local level thus providing an opportunity for capacity development in projects. The project will strategically build capacity in procurement, Financial Management and Social Risk Management in a coordinated manner.

SOCO represents continuous learning on developing scalable interventions that can effectively promote the elimination of extreme poverty to ensure equitable national development and shared prosperity for every citizen.




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