Introducing Hon. Stephen Yakubu: The New Upper West Regional Minister

Honorable Stephen Yakubu, brings a wealth of experience to his new role as the Upper West Regional Minister. Formerly serving as the Upper East Regional Minister, his leadership has been reshuffled to the Upper West Region.

As a seasoned politician, Hon. Yakubu contested for the Binduri seat on the NPP ticket and was a member of the 5th Parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana. His dedication to public service is evident in his impressive electoral performance, securing 50.43% of all valid votes cast.

Born on May 25, 1966, in Gotisaliga-Binduri, Upper East Region, Hon. Yakubu holds a BSc in Planning from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and a Postgraduate diploma in Information Systems from Thames Valley University Slough, UK.

Beyond his political endeavors, Hon. Yakubu is a devoted family man, married with two children. He is a practicing Christian, actively involved in the Adventist church community.

Profile of Hon. Stephen Yakubu
Hon. Stephen Yakubu is a Ghanaian politician and diplomat. He was Ghana’s Ambassador to Morocco and He was a member of Parliament for Binduri constituency in the Upper East Region of Ghana. He is currently the Upper West Regional Minister after serving as the Upper East Regional Minister from 2021 March to 2024 April.

Early life and education
Stephen Yakubu was born on May 25, 1966, at Gotisaliga-Binduri in the Upper East Region. He obtained a BSc in Planning from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and a Postgraduate diploma in Information Systems from Thames Valley University Slough, UK.

Yakubu is into Development Planning, Architecture, and Quantity Surveyors.

Political life
Hon Stephen Yakubu is a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). He contested for the Binduri seat on the ticket of the NPP. He was a member of the 5th Parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana.

Personal life
He is self-employed and married with two children. He is a Christian and worships with an Adventist church.

Right to Information (RTI) Commission Members Pay Courtesy Call to the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council

The Commission members of the Right to Information (RTI) Bill paid a courtesy visit to the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council. Their visit aimed to strengthen ties and discuss their upcoming public lecture within the region. The RTI team, on a mission to engage with the public and educate them about the importance of their work, used the opportunity to brief the Regional Chief Director of the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council Mr. Peter Maala on their activities. The Executive Secretary for the right to information Commission, Yaw Sarpong Boateng gave a brief background of the Right to Information (RTI) law and outlined some of the successes the Commission has achieved and the challenges it is facing in the implementation of the law. He appealed to the Regional Coordinating Council for the allocation of dedicated office space for their commission. This request reflects their determination to have a physical presence in the region, making it easier for citizens to access information and engage with the commission. This step underlines the commitment of the RTI board to establish strong working relationships with local authorities. Speaking on behalf of the Upper West Regional Minister, the Chief Director of Regional Coordinating Council, Mr. Peter Maala, assured the delegation of the fullest support and cooperation of the RCC in all the activities of the Commission in the region. He therefore indicated the readiness of the RCC in participating fully in the public lecture to be held on Thursday 9th 2023. The RTI Commission’s visit to the Upper West Region is in line with a scheduled program set to take place at Jahan Training College on Thursday. This program promises to shed light on the RTI bill’s activities and its significance in promoting transparency and accountability. The visit further exemplifies their dedication to creating awareness and fostering partnerships at the regional level. The collaboration between the RTI commission and local authorities holds the potential to empower citizens with the information they need to actively participate in governance.

Building Dreams: Daffiama SHS’s Journey Towards Educational Excellence

Introduction: Nestled in the heart of the Daffiama Bussie Issah district of the Upper West Region lies Daffiama Senior High School, a beacon of hope and opportunity for countless students seeking to realize their academic aspirations.

Despite its rich history and notable academic achievements, Daffiama SHS faces significant challenges in its quest to provide quality education to its students. Headmaster Dambie Osbert Salifu paints a vivid picture of the school’s struggles, from incomplete infrastructure projects to disciplinary issues plaguing the institution.

Undeterred by these obstacles, Mr. Osbert and his team are determined to overcome adversity and create an environment conducive to learning. Their impassioned plea for support from government and other stakeholders underscores their unwavering commitment to the students’ welfare and academic success.

Amidst these challenges, Daffiama SHS continues to shine academically, achieving commendable results in the WASSCE examinations. The recent milestone of recording its highest aggregate score since its establishment serves as a testament to the school’s dedication to excellence.

As Daffiama SHS embarks on its journey towards educational excellence, the support of stakeholders is indispensable. With collaborative efforts and unwavering determination, the school aims to not only overcome its challenges but also pave the way for a brighter future for its students, where dreams are nurtured and aspirations realized.

National Energy Transition Committee Chairman Meets Upper West Regional Minister Ahead of Forum

The Chairman of the National Energy Transition Committee, also serving as the Member of Parliament for Karaga, Honorable Mohammed Amin Adam, paid a courtesy visit to the Upper West Regional Minister to extend an official invitation to the upcoming National Energy Transition Forum in Wa.

Accompanying him were the Deputy Minister for Transport, Alhaji Hassan Tampuli, and representatives from the Ministry of Transport and Energy.

Honorable Mohammed Amin Adam expressed that the purpose of the courtesy call was to formally invite the Upper West Regional Minister to partake in the National Energy Transition Forum. The forum aims to gather stakeholders’ insights to shape the transition process.

Highlighting the potential challenges Ghana may face in the energy transition, Honorable Mohammed Amin Adam stressed the importance of positioning the country to mitigate such difficulties.

He emphasized that the transition plan seeks to equip Ghana to harness the benefits and opportunities arising from the transition, with a focus on engaging communities nationwide to garner support and raise awareness.

Adding to this, Honorable Hassan Tampuli, the Member of Parliament for Gushiegu, emphasized that the national energy plan aims to prepare Ghana for upcoming changes and capitalize on potential opportunities. He reiterated the forum’s objective of exploring areas of advantage and obtaining public consensus.

In response, Honorable Hafiz Bin Salih, the Upper West Regional Minister, expressed gratitude to the delegation for initiating dialogue on the energy transition. He expressed optimism that the program would yield significant benefits for the populace and assured his full support for its success.

Daffiama SHS Authorities Appeal for Urgent Infrastructure Development

Daffiama Senior High School is currently facing critical resource constraints, prompting school authorities to call upon stakeholders for immediate intervention.

During a recent School Performance Appraisal Meeting, Headmaster Dambie Osbert Salifu outlined the pressing challenges hindering effective teaching and learning at the institution. Among these challenges are incomplete infrastructure projects, including a classroom block with toilet facilities and a perimeter fence. Additionally, the school grapples with disciplinary issues among students and staff, such as absenteeism and unprofessional conduct.

Mr. Osbert passionately appealed to the government and other stakeholders for support in addressing these pressing needs. Specifically, he requested the construction of essential facilities like an administration block, additional classrooms, water storage systems, and street lights to enhance student safety. Furthermore, the school urgently requires vehicles for educational trips and administrative purposes, as well as laptops to facilitate learning and administrative tasks.

Despite these challenges, Daffiama SHS has demonstrated commendable academic performance, achieving a remarkable pass rate in the West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE). Notably, the school recorded its highest aggregate score since its establishment in 1991, a testament to its dedication to academic excellence.

As Daffiama SHS strives to maintain its academic prowess, the appeal for infrastructure development remains critical to ensuring quality education for its students. With the support of stakeholders, the school aims to continue its upward trajectory in academic achievement while providing a conducive learning environment for all.

Upper West Regional Minister supports Charia Bachu Football Club.

In a heartwarming gesture, Charia Bachu Football Club’s management team extended their deep appreciation to Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih, the Regional Minister, for his generous contributions of footballs and kits. The timely and valuable donation from the Minister has significantly boosted the club’s capabilities, addressing crucial logistics needs.

Facing pressing challenges, the football club found a much-needed ally in the Regional Minister’s donation, and the management conveyed their sincere thanks for the impactful support. They emphasized the positive influence the new equipment is expected to have on the team’s overall performance.

Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih, in a warm reception of the club’s delegation, shared the motivation behind his commitment to supporting Charia Bachu Football Club. Having encountered the dedicated young football players during his community engagements, he witnessed their passion despite the lack of proper equipment. In response, Dr. Salih pledged two sets of jerseys, five footballs, and an undisclosed cash amount to bridge this gap.

Underlining the significance of football, the Regional Minister encouraged the players to consider sports as a viable profession with the potential to contribute to reducing unemployment rates in the region. He affirmed the government’s dedication to Charia by announcing plans for the construction of the Wa Charia road, complemented by street lighting. Dr. Bin Salih assured that necessary steps, including securing a contractor, had been taken to initiate these impactful projects.

Expressing a personal connection to Charia, Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih emphasized the community’s special place in his heart. He concluded the interaction by assuring the football club and the broader community of the government’s steadfast commitment to bringing more developmental projects to Charia.

With tangible resources and newfound encouragement, Charia Bachu Football Club is now well-equipped to not only enhance its sporting prowess but also to view football as a serious avenue for growth and development in the region. The Minister’s support serves as a catalyst for the club’s aspirations, marking a positive step towards fostering sports and community development in Charia.

Chairman of National Energy Transition Committee pays courtesy call on Upper West Regional Minister”

The Chairman for the National Energy Committee who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Karaga, Hon Mohammed Amin Adam paid a courtesy call on the Upper West Regional Minister to officially invite him to the National Energy transition forum in Wa.

He was accompanied by the Deputy Minister for Transport, Alhaji Hassan Tampuli and staff from the Ministry of Transport and Energy.

According to Hon Mohammed Amin Adam, the courtesy call was purposely to invite the Upper West Regional Minister to participate in the National Energy Transition Forum which is aimed at soliciting views of stakeholders to form  part of the transition process.

He said Ghana stands to suffer the consequences of energy transition and that there was the need to position the country to prevent the difficulties that comes with the energy transition.

The chairman for the energy transition plan noted that the transition plan will prepare Ghana to drive the benefits and opportunities involved.

He added that the policy and strategy of the energy transition was to go around the country to solicit views and sensitize the people about the transition.

Hon Hassan Tampuli, the Member of Parliament for Gushiegu said the national energy plan is geared putting Ghana in readiness for what is eminent.

He added that the energy transition forum was meant to look at the possible areas that the country can take advantage of and to here the buy-in of the people.

In his part, Hon Hafiz Bin Salih, the Upper West Regional Minister thanked the delegation for coming to engage the people on the energy transition.

He was optimistic that the program will inure to the benefit of the people while pledging his support for the program.

Impact of Political Instability from Burkina Faso and Mali on Health Services in Upper West Region

Dr. Damien Punguyire, the Upper West Regional Director of Health Services, has raised concerns over the adverse effects of political instability in Burkina Faso and Mali on the health sector in the region. During the opening of the 2023 annual regional health sector performance review meeting of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in Wa, he highlighted various challenges exacerbated by this situation.

Dr. Punguyire noted that the influx of immigrants, particularly in the Sissala East and Sissala West Districts, has strained health services. With approximately 8,507 immigrants, including 1,036 children under five years, seeking temporary settlement, the demand for healthcare, including vaccination, sanitation, and medical attention, has surged, stretching resources thin.

Addressing this pressing issue, Dr. Punguyire emphasized the urgent need to expand health infrastructure, enhance logistics supply, and improve transportation systems, especially in border districts, to bolster the region’s resilience against this ongoing threat.

He appealed to Municipal and District Chief Executives to prioritize the health sector in the implementation of the Gulf of Guinea Northern Ghana Social Cohesion (SOCO) project, recognizing the pivotal role it plays in fostering community well-being.

Furthermore, Dr. Punguyire highlighted the challenge of high staff turnover, with 134 departures compared to only 35 new staff postings within the year. He emphasized the importance of retaining medical professionals and called for expedited efforts to convert the Upper West Regional Hospital into a specialist training center, enabling doctors to specialize while serving the region.

Despite these challenges, Dr. Punguyire acknowledged strides made in improving health service delivery, including the provision of tricycle ambulances and essential medical equipment like ultrasound machines and oxygen concentrators. Looking ahead to 2024, he pledged to continue strengthening public health and clinical care interventions and enhancing monitoring and supervision in line with GHS’s mandate.

The meeting also received commendation from Mr. Peter Maala, representing the Regional Minister, for the impressive performance of the health sector in 2023. He highlighted the integration of health projects under the SOCO initiative and the establishment of a refugee reception center by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in the Sissala West District to streamline support services for displaced persons.

The Western Regional Health Directorate’s peer-reviewed assessment awarded the Upper West Region with a Regional Holistic Assessment score of 3.8, signaling an improvement from the previous year. The evaluation, conducted under the theme “Embracing the Networks of Practice Approach to improve health outcomes in the Upper West Region,” underscores the collective commitment to addressing challenges and enhancing healthcare delivery in the region.

Upper West Region Marks Independence Day with Emphasis on Democratic Values

Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih, the Upper West Regional Minister, emphasized the significance of credible elections as the cornerstone of a robust democracy during the commemoration of Ghana’s 67th Independence Day in Lawra. Speaking under the theme “Our Democracy, Our Pride,” Dr. Salih underscored the pivotal role of the Electoral Commission (EC) in ensuring the integrity of electoral processes.

Acknowledging the government’s commitment to supporting the EC’s operations, Dr. Salih urged political parties to uphold the democratic ethos by refraining from treating elections as a “do-or-die affair.” He emphasized the symbiotic relationship between peace and development, stating that sustainable progress hinges on maintaining a peaceful political landscape.

While recognizing the challenges inherent in multi-party democracy, Dr. Salih commended Ghanaians for their steadfast dedication to democratic principles without succumbing to violent upheavals. He cautioned against rhetoric that incites confrontation or violence, emphasizing the importance of fostering a culture of peaceful coexistence.

Highlighting the region’s commitment to peace and democracy, Dr. Salih called on residents to play their part in ensuring harmony and stability, essential for the region’s development and the nation as a whole.

The Independence Day celebration featured a vibrant parade, with contingents comprising security personnel, schools, cadet groups, and various associations. Captain Kwesi Arthur Barnes of the 10th Mechanised Battalion led the parade, accompanied by the Customs Regimental Band from Accra and the 10th Mechanised Battalion Band.

The event also included a procession of armoured vehicles and military security dogs, adding to the spectacle of the occasion. School competitions added to the festivities, with Eremon Senior High Technical School, Pentecost Preparatory JHS, and Lawra E/A Primary School emerging as winners in their respective categories.

Additionally, deserving individuals, including Zoomlion Ghana workers, were recognized and rewarded for their contributions to the development of the Lawra Municipality, underscoring the importance of collective effort in nation-building.

The celebration, attended by dignitaries including the Paramount Chief of the Lawra Traditional Area and the Member of Parliament for the Constituency, served as a testament to Ghana’s commitment to democracy and unity as it commemorated its journey towards independence.

Ministry of Local Government and World Bank SOCO Project Delegation Meets with Upper West Regional Minister

In a significant engagement, officials from the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization, and Rural Development (MLGDRD) and the World Bank SOCO Project paid a courtesy visit to Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih, the Upper West Regional Minister, in his office. The purpose of the visit was to fulfill their mandate of monitoring ongoing projects in the region.

Led by Mr. George Aidoo from the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralization, and Rural Development, and Mr. Asnutosh Raina representing the World Bank, the delegation is currently in the region overseeing the progress of 122 ongoing subprojects across 11 districts benefiting from the Soco initiative.

During the visit, Mr. George Aidoo expressed gratitude to the Regional Minister for providing land for the project office building. He highlighted the significance of this gesture in contributing to the successful implementation of projects at both the community and district levels.

In response, the Regional Minister extended a warm welcome to the delegation, expressing optimism about the successful execution of the projects. He emphasized the importance of ensuring value for money, recognizing the rarity of such opportunities. The Regional Minister assured that the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) and local assemblies would diligently fulfill monitoring responsibilities, placing confidence in the competence of the zonal coordinator and the entire project team.

As the visit concluded, both parties affirmed their commitment to collaborative efforts in fostering sustainable development and positive outcomes for the communities involved in the World Bank SOCO Projects in the Upper West Region. This meeting stands as a testament to the dedication of all stakeholders towards ensuring the success and impact of these vital projects in the region.