An Address Delivered By Dr. Abdul-Majeed Haruna, The Chief Executive Officer Of The Northern Development Authority On The Occassion Of The Commissioning Of The Northern Office Of The Shea Unit Of The Ghana Cocobod, Thursday, 9th August 2018
The President of the Northern Regional House of Chiefs, and Chairman for this occasion,
- The Chief of Lamashegu, Tamale,
- The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board,
- Metropolitan and Municipal Chief Executive Officers,
- The Coordinating Directors of MMDAS,
- Members of the National Steering Committee on Shea,
- Members of the Northern Regional House of Chiefs,
- Staff of Ghana Cocoa Board,
- President and members of Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers Association,
- Stakeholders in the Shea Value Chain,
- Media Houses present,
- Invited guests, Ladies and Gentlemen
His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of the Republic of Ghana, amongst several other innovative initiatives, created the Northern Development Authority Act 963, 2017. It’s mandate among other things, is to provide a framework for the accelerated economic and social development of the three administrative regions of the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions. This is in fulfilment of the NPP’s 2016 Campaign manifesto promise to replace SADA with the Northern Development Authority and create two other development Authorities for the middle and coastal belt to spur rapid economic development across the country. Key among several other functions of the Authority is our responsibility to “cause the execution of projects in communities within the Northern Development Zone that will stimulate the modernization of agricultural development and competitiveness of small scale farmers through irrigation and other improved technologies and promote efficiency for the domestic and export markets. Ladies and gentlemen, we cannot talk about export-oriented development and competitiveness in northern Ghana without situating the shea industry as the main driver.
Mr. Chairman, it is estimated that about 9.4 million shea treesgrow in Ghana and these employ about 900,000 women in the three northern regions. Women collect over 130,000 tonnes of dry shea nut every year and they have the potential to double this by 2020 if they can get the needed stimulus. The industry also benefits close to 2 million people, about 95% of whom are rural households. Currently, the shea industry accounts for about $30 million of Ghana’s foreign exchange earnings a year. According to Dogbevi 2009, this has the potential to yield 100 tonnes of shea nut worth $100 million per year. This makes the shea industry an attractive growth promoter that can catalyse job creation, increase household incomes and contribute to the national economy in line with the mandate of the Northern Development Authority.
I am therefore happy to be here today, to participate in the commissioning of the Northern Office [T1] of the Shea unit of the Ghana Cocoa Board in Tamale. This is strategic for NDA and the government of H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen the economic, social and medicinal value of shea cannot be overemphasized.Permit me to highlight just a few of the important uses of shea.
- Shea butter is used extensively as edible oil, body and hair cream and for traditional treatment. African traditional healers have known about the medicinal value of shea butter for thousands of years. The substance is almost magical in its healing effects on burns, skin conditions, ulcerated skin, stretch marks, and dryness. It contains beneficial vegetable fats that promote cell regeneration and circulation, making it a wonderful healer and rejuvenator for troubled or aging skin. Shea butter is sought after globally by giant pharmaceutical companies and confectionaries who use it as an additive in several food chains andchocolates among others. This offers us great opportunities for earning foreign exchange for the country
- Mr. Chairman, the Shea Industry if properly developed also has the potential to reduce the economic inequalities within the three northern regions especially amongst women since it is one of the main drivers we can focus on to realise the NPP’s policy of leaving no one behind in its rural industrialization effort.
The Northern Development Authority is therefore committed to supporting the work of the Sea Unit and would also explore and seek for strategic partners to invest in shea as part of the government’s flagship programme on One District, One Factory.
Ladies and Gentlemen, NDA was instrumental in the formative stages of the establishment of the Shea Unit with the subsequent inauguration of its National Steering Committee. I have also been reliably informed that the Unit together with the Steering Committee has completed the Shea Sector Development Strategy (SHEDS, 2014-2030) to give clear direction for the development of the Shea Sector in Ghana. Our representation in the steering committee will provide strategic guidance and support to ensure that the Ghana shea becomes a major economic player in the global commodities market. We can only achieve this feat if the shea tree is protected and nurtured throughout northern Ghana. I therefore like to take this opportunity to request the support of our MMDAs, chiefs and youth of the land to protect the shea tree wherever these are. By-laws should be designed and implemented to punish those who burn the bush and those who fell shea trees to act as a deterrent in going forward.
May I also use this opportunity to commend the Ghana COCOBOD, through whose singular financial support, has brought the Shea Industry this far and thus culminating in what we are witnessing here today. I would wish to appeal to COCOBOD to consider diversifying their investments and increase budgetary allocations for the development of shea industry as a strategic option that would see the long-term scalability of its operations in Ghana.
Mr. Chairman, the Shea Industry if properly developed has the potential to reduce the economic inequalities within the three northern regions especially amongst women since it is one of the main drivers we can focus on to realise the NPP’s policy of leaving no one behind in its rural industrialization effort.
Mr. Chairman the NDA will continue to offer its support to ensure that the shea industry becomes a household name in Ghana and beyond. We are committed to this and in the very near future, a project dubbed “Women is shea” will be rolled out to promote productivity among women in the shea sector.
On this note, I congratulate the Chief Executive and Management of Ghana Cocoa Board and other invited guests who are here to grace this occasion and wish you all the best in your endeavours.
God bless our homeland Ghana and make our Nation great and strong.
Thank you for your attention.