The Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah has given the assurance that the region will remain resolute and focused on its investment drive.
He said in view of this, a youth summit would be held in the Region in October this year, where captains of industries would address the youth on entrepreneurship and hands-on training programmes that would equip them to be masters on their own.
Mr Darko-Mensah who said this during the Coordinating Council (WRCC) first Council Meeting in Takoradi, indicated that the hand-on training would Hinge on Floor tiling, beads and honey making, mushroom and snail rearing.
He said the Programme would be replicated in six zones in the Region with seven others taking place next year.
The Regional Minister said they envisioned the Region becoming a robust and resilient financial ecosystem and hub that provides unmatched financial services to meet the needs of the business community.
This, he said would strategically reposition the Region to take advantage of the enormous benefits that Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) brings to Ghana and West African Sub-Region.
He hinted that WRCC would together with the Ghana Education Service, come out with modalities to imbibe entrepreneurial spirits in school children right from the basic to secondary levels in order to prepare them for work and make them competitive even beyond the shores of Ghana.
According to the Minister, with the number of major projects including the construction of two interchanges, construction of the Agona-Nkwanta to Tarkwa Road, construction of the Takoradi International Airport, Petroleum Hub facilities and Forward Operating Base(FOB) in the Jomoro District.
The Railway Development, the redevelopment of the Takoradi market circle and the construction of GPNC operational headquarters would brighten the horizon of the Region and enhance its investment potentials.
Mr Darko-Mensah said although the Region chalked some successes, it was aware of challenges, stressing that the Region was still saddled with chieftaincy disputes, illegal mining activities (galamsey), poor road network, youth unemployment, liquid and solid waste management and abandoned projects.
Touching on COVID-19 pandemic, he said a total of 64,300 AstraZeneca and 3,300 Johnson and Johnson doses of vaccines were received in the Region and 19, 388 persons were fully vaccinated representing 1.38 per cent of the eligible population of 1, 445, 730.
He said COVID-19 continued to wreak havoc and affected lives and livelihoods, noting that as at September 15, 2021 the Region recorded 239 active cases with 61 deaths and 6,777 recoveries.
Mr Darko-Mensah said the Sekondi-Takoradi, Tarkwa Nsuaem and Effia-Kwasimintsim still remained the hotspots in the Region with active cases count of 120, 44 and 30 respectively.
On the One District, One Factory, the Regional Minister said four more factories were added to the KEDA ceremic factory in Shama out of the 24 approved projects in the Region.
He mentioned the Narubi Rubber Processing Factory in Wassa East, GKV and Hodiak Plus Company Limited in STMA, and GREL in Ahanta West as the new entrants.
He however noted that funding remained a challenge for some of the companies and said measures were underway to address the situation.
On the planting for Food and Jobs Programme, Mr Darko-Mensah said for the period under review, a total of 9,651 farmers comprising 6,722 males and 2,929 females benefitted, while 1000 breeding pigs for distribution to five districts were done to increase domestic livestock numbers, while reducing importation of meat and meat products
The Regional Minister was unhappy with the Performance of many of the MMDAs in the Region on the national ranking, noting that apart from Effia-Kwasimintsim, STMA, Jomoro, and Ellembelle with the percentage scores not 83.57 per cent, 83.57 per cent, 81.88 per cent, and 80.69 per cent which also placed them 34th, 34th, 48th, and 58th respectively on the national rankings.
Wassa Amenfi Central performed abysmally and unsatisfactorily, with the remaining Assemblies performing averagely compared to their counterparts in other Regions.
"This is not something we should be proud of as a Region that pride itself as a model Region and where the best is, this certainly must not be our story", he added.