The Abuakwa North Municipal Assembly convened its first ordinary meeting of the first session of the third general assembly on May 30, 2024, at the Assembly Hall in Kukurantumi, Eastern Region of Ghana. This meeting, held in accordance with Section 28 of the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936), was attended by key municipal stakeholders including Honourable Gifty Twum-Ampofo, MP for Abuakwa North, Mr. Emil Tawiah Atsu, the Municipal Coordinating Director; Assembly Members; Departmental Heads; opinion leaders; heads of security agencies among others.

Honourable Alhaji Umar Babs Bodinga, the Municipal Chief Executive, welcomed attendees and expressed gratitude to Honourable Gifty Twum-Ampofo, the Member of Parliament for the area and former Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), for her significant contributions to the municipality’s development. He also welcomed both new and returning members of the general assembly, encouraging them to leverage their diverse experiences for the municipality’s progress.

Security and Crime Prevention

Hon. Bodinga highlighted the municipality’s initiatives to ensure peace and security amidst challenges like robbery, theft, accidents, illegal mining, and cattle invasions. Collaborative efforts involving the Municipal Security Council (MUSEC), traditional authorities, and the regional police have led to intensified night patrols and successful operations against cattle invasions. Public vigilance was emphasized in ongoing efforts to curb illegal activities in areas such as Bosodumase, Fischer, Koobo, and Anyinasin.

Economic Initiatives

On the economic front, the assembly has implemented strategies to enhance revenue collection following a moderate performance last year. A task force has been established to improve tax compliance, resulting in the collection of GHC 567,823.02 by April 2024, representing 28.97% of the annual target of GHC 1,960,006.00. These efforts indicate a positive trend toward achieving the municipality’s financial goals.

Health Initiatives

Health initiatives remain a priority, with the ongoing 10th Round of Covid-19 Vaccination Campaign despite the relaxation of protocols. The municipality continues to invest in widespread vaccination efforts. Additionally, the rise in HIV/AIDS cases, with 229 positive cases recorded in 2023, is being addressed through public awareness campaigns encouraging testing and treatment. A new health center in Kukurantumi, supported by local leaders and families, enhances healthcare infrastructure.

Education and Infrastructure

Significant improvements have been made in the educational sector, with the Education Directorate now operating from a permanent building provided by local leaders and the Ministry of Education. This development enhances the educational environment and resources available for academic activities.

Physical Projects and Social Support

The assembly has completed various physical projects across the municipality. Vulnerable groups, including the aged, less privileged, and Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), continue to receive support through the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) and PwD Funds. Monitoring for the last disbursement in December 2023 is scheduled to start in June.

Agriculture and Road Development

In agriculture, the municipality awaits the supply of Fall Army Worm chemicals and has already distributed 6,000 oil palm seedlings to 53 farmers. Recently, 95 farmers received farming inputs, and agricultural extension officers were equipped with tools to improve the sector. Road development projects, such as the OPASS Junction-Old Tafo road, are progressing, with the Roads and Highways Minister expressing satisfaction with the work.

Skills Training for Youth

The municipality has designed skills training programs for the youth through the Youth Enterprises Agency (YEA). Currently, 23 beneficiaries are undergoing training in dressmaking, hairdressing, and other skills. The government has funded these programs and provides a monthly allowance of GHC 500 to apprentices.

Overall, the Abuakwa North Municipal Assembly’s meeting underscored its commitment to security, economic development, health, education, infrastructure, and social support initiatives.