Hon O.B Amoah - Minister of State at the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development

The Minister of State at the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development, Hon Osei Bonsu Amoah, has described the Gulf of Guinea Northern Region Social Cohesion (SOCO) Project with $150 million dollar funding support from the World Bank as a game changer due to its span of intervention.

“I wish to take this opportunity on behalf of the Government of Ghana to particularly thank the World Bank and our development partners for your continuous support of the positive development agenda of this country.”

Mr. Amoah in an address in Tamale during a conference held last Wednesday (March 27, 2024) to discuss the progress made on the project implementation said the Ministry is positive about the success of the SOCO initiative and the impact it will make on the lives of Ghanaians in the beneficiary communities across the five regions of the North and the Oti region.  

The Minister who doubles as the MP for Akwapim South indicated that the Multidimensional Poverty Report in 2020 by the Ghana Statistical Service shows that the Northern Regions are lagging in the national average on electricity coverage, Housing, Assets, cooking fuel, Drinking water, Toilet, School attendance, School attainment, and Nutrition.

The World Bank Country for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Robert Taliercio O’Brien (far right) together with government officials and other dignitaries

He thereby intimated that the development gap between the north and south requires a coordinated effort to bridge the north-south divide, saying it is, therefore, not surprising that the SOCO project focuses on the 5 Northern Regions and the Oti Region.

The 5-year project is being implemented in forty-eight (48) Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in Ghana. The project seeks to proactively prevent the spillover of conflict and activities extremist  groups from the Sahel, reduce vulnerability to climate change, strengthen local institutions, provide economic opportunities and improve public trust.

Infrastructure projects

Under the first year of implementation, a total number of five and fifty-six (556) infrastructure projects being executed consisting 42 roads, 66 classroom blocks and teachers’ accommodation, 74 rural markets, 55 health facilities, 228 water facilities including mechanized boreholes, boreholes with handpump and small-town water systems.


Mr. Amoah said it is worth noting that, out of the 16 project indicator targets, 13 of them have been exceeded, indicating enormous progress towards achieving the Project Development objective.

He added the project has also created 3,748 jobs for community members through their participation in the construction of community infrastructure projects, strengthened the capacity of 4,709 local development actors, including staff of MMDAs and community members for local development planning and management, as well as 9,954 farmers and rural enterprises are currently receiving technical and financial support from the project.

For his part, the Northern Regional Minister, Shani Alhassan Shaibu, in his remarks noted 51 sub-projects in the region are all at various stages of completion, adding at the Northern Regional Coordinating Council, “we have our eyes to the ball, to ensure that these projects are completed on time and used for the intended purposes.”

Alhaji Shani highlighting on the theme for the conference: “Leveraging Digital Tools for a Balanced and Coordinated Development in Northern Ghana” said, “In our rapidly evolving world in which technology plays a crucial role, harnessing digital innovations is not just a choice but a necessity for propelling Northern Ghana towards prosperity.”

He added the SOCO initiative is clear demonstration of the extreme importance our government attaches to the SOCO project, stating it is therefore no wonder that sub-projects under SOCO have started in earnest in all beneficiary MMDAs, and the feedback from Monitoring and Evaluation reports clearly show a positive outlook for a huge success of the project.