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Over-Politicisation Crippling Dev’t - A/R Minister Laments   
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Ashanti regional minister, Simon Osei Mensah, has reiterated his determination to make sure that the institutions under his watch work freely without any unnecessary political interference, adding that it was high time political leaders allowed the state institutions to run freely for the good of the people.

The minister lamented: "the over-politicization of issues is what is crippling the nation's quest to move forward, and it is one of my goals to ensure that I do all it takes to make sure the institutions work without fear or favour."

Mr Osei Mensah poured out his sentiments when the Ghana Mission Director of the USAID, Andy Karas, together with his team, paid a courtesy call on him at his office yesterday.

The visit was, among others, to congratulate the Minister on his appointment by the President to serve the people of the region, and, more importantly, discuss ways that the two can partner to provide economic support for the region.

High on their agenda was how they can partner to improve cocoa production in the region. They also discussed ways that the two can work together to improve the overall well-being of farmers in the region.

Further, the Regional minister called for effective, open, sincere and stronger working partnership to exist between the region and other global development partners. To him, such partnership remains the only way to build lasting relationship, to continue enjoying supports and benevolent gestures from donor partners.

The regional minister hinted that he was going to be keen on how the Internally Generated Funds of the various MMDAs are used. He stressed that he would not allow IGFs to be used anyhow under his watch.

He also indicated his desire to provide relevant leadership and make sure the people of the region benefit from his administration.

For his part, the USAID Director, Mr Karas, stated that his outfit would give support to the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in the Ashanti region for them to efficiently operate.

The USAID is on a four-day working tour to the region, visiting their project sites and also to see how they can continue to support the people with the needed logistics to ensure efficiency.

With $150m available, the USAID is injecting funds into four areas, including agriculture, economic growth, education and governance in the country with much of its projects taking place in the Ashanti and Northern regions.

According to the USAID Mission Director, they are ready to partner the minister to ensure they build the local capacity of the people of the region for them to be economically independent. They are also committed to providing support for businesses, while ensuring that allocated funds to people were properly utilized.

The Mission Director expressed confidence about the future of the Ashanti Region, considering the vast experience and knowledge the regional minister is bringing to the table, adding that the U.S was ready to work with people who have shown tact and seriousness to duty.

Mr Karas described the regional minister as "humble", saying he has absolute trust and confidence in the ability of the regional minister to deliver.

He also commended Mr Osei-Mensah for his strict adherence to time and duty, explaining that such attitude was critical, particularly at a time the government wants to refocus the direction of the country to a more prosperous one.

The USAID Mission Director was accompanied to the Regional Minister's office by Sefakor Segbawu, Project Accountant, Yooku Ata Badu, Communication Specialist, and Abdulai Mahama, Budget Specialist.

Source: The New Statesman

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