SADA - SYNOPSIS OF DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY (2010 – 2030)
The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) is an independent agency mandated by Act 805 of 2010 to coordinate a comprehensive development agenda for the northern savannah ecological zone in Ghana. The area comprises the three northern regions of Ghana namely, Upper East, Upper West and the Northern Region, and stretches to include districts contiguous to the Northern region that are located north of Brong-Ahafo and north of the Volta region. SADA constitutes Ghana’s response to effects of climate change associated with floods and draught. The agency’s main thrust is to promote sustainable development using the notion of a forested and green north to catalyze climate change reversal and improve livelihoods of the most vulnerable citizens in the area. The strategy being developed will provide opportunities for poor peasants, especially women, to own assets in economic trees, sustain their food crop production and protect the fragile eco-system of the northern savannah by managing the flood-prone river-beds better.
There is a visible developmental gap between the North and Southern Ghana, with the Northern Savannah belt registering significantly higher levels of poverty than the Southern economy. Bridging this developmental gap has been a long-stated goal of most post-independence Governments of Ghana. The approach has nearly always been distributionist to address imbalances in education, health and social welfare services. In 2007, a double calamity of prolonged draught was followed rapidly by massive floods in the entire northern regions of Ghana, claiming several hundred lives and over half a million persons were displaced. Livelihoods were severely impaired as thousands lost farms and assets; infrastructure was destroyed and thousands of young girls, women and children joined a teaming under-class of street porters (known in Ghana as kaya ye) in the urban commercial centers of southern Ghana. This sudden manifestation of climate change provided the most vivid manifestation that failure to tackle poverty and environmental decay in northern Ghana could result in even more dire consequences for the entire country and ecological area.
Citizens and the Government of Ghana responded by establishing a Northern Development Fund and commissioning the preparation of a medium to long-term strategy to address the developmental needs and potential of the northern Savannah area. In this strategy, a growth and sustainable development approach is adopted to both increase incomes among the poorest people of the three northern regions, and transform the northern Ghanaian economy and society into a regional nexus of increased productivity of food, and a buffer against persistent droughts and sporadic floods.