SADA Rebranding

The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA)has roused itself like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes of the negative public image that it has ingloriously enjoyed and shown a concerted desire to do better in achieving the mandate for which it was created for.

The organization seeks to rise from the doldrums of obscurity and negative public opinion and be seen as at least making an attempt to come up with realistic development plans that can be implemented within the Savannah ecological zone. 
To this effect I has recently been collaborating with several bodies and organizations riding pillion or piggyback on their programs.

The latest one of those is the SADA – Ghana Institute of Engineers collaboration with SADA facilitating a series of workshops including a Youth Forum organized by the GhanaThink BarCamp Team in Tamale for students, youth and youth leaders within the savanna ecological zone. 

The forum brought participants from as far as Kintampo, parts of the Brong Ahafo region and the further reaches of the Upper East and Upper West regions all to Tamale to attend the youth forum.

In speeches by the Tamale Deputy Regional Minister, The CEO of SADA, some board members and the president of the Engineers Association, they all affirmed that the youth are the backbone of a country’s development and that it is the youth on whose backs a nation rides to achieve it’s development goals.

They further asserted that the youth however are faced with challenges and it is to put forth some of these challenges that programs like the forum were organized so the youth can express their grievances and be a part of the decision making process in the way forward as a nation.

A presentation was made by yours truly on how to harness social media tools as youth in not only personal development but also developing the nation as a whole.

There was a panel discussion on nationalism and volunteerism as youth where some young people who have been volunteers in various sectors of the nation gave glorious examples of what it is like to volunteer as a youth. Their stories were varied but they all made one point that volunteerism is a selfless activity that yields rewards when one least expects.

Inasmuch as one is volunteering, it could be in one small corner of the country, people tend to notice and very soon recommendations come in that let’s the selfless activity serve as a springboard to other things.

The most exciting session at the youth forum was the Breakout Sessions where various topics were focused on. Topics that were dealt with included, but were not limited to, education in the savanna, youth entrepreneurship, agribusiness, locating your inner intelligence, using ICT tools, harnessing youth potential and finally the most heated group of all Rebranding SADA.

It was in the latter group that the most heated debate was in a session. Some youth were of the opinion that the organization had burnt all its bridges and to rebrand there would have to be a change of name whilst others also were of the opinion that SADA hadn’t been treated fairly by the general populace and the news and print media had just slammed the organization and limited its duties and roles to just rearing of Guinea fowls and planting of cash trees.

There was also a discussion on the political affiliations and its implications on the organization.

The intensity of the debate was so high that they hogged the whole hall and all the breakout sessions finished discussions and now just watched and listened in to this session. Valid points were raised on both sides and it took some of the organizers to step in to calm them down so the program could go on as planned.

After lunch, the various breakout sessions presented their reports and as expected the Rebranding SADA session couldn’t agree on one report so they presented two.

And it was still heated.

Finally there was an open forum where the participants were given an opportunity to suggest to the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority what programs they think the organization should embark on and this time it was the turn of the high table to take notes.

Brilliant ideas were put down and in the chairman’s final speech he made mention that he was personally happy that such a program has been organized and he emphasized and reaffirmed the importance of SADA and youth cooperation to help the organization achieve it’s agenda of developing the savanna ecological region.

He further emphasized that in a bid to solidify its relationship with the youth of the region a committee of regional youth representatives with be constituted from some of the participants to represent and forward youth issues to the organization.

Well, in my humble opinion, all this is laudable but it will become just another rhetoric like many other initiatives that have already taken place in this country.

I sincerely hope that SADA has learnt its lesson from its failed start and doesn’t make the same mistakes it did during its takeoff.

This is their second chance and Ghanaians will only accept them as making an effort only if they see visible and tangible results.

We always say that it is not how many times you fall but it’s how many times you lift yourself up, dust yourself and try again.

However SADA should keep in mind that the organization can’t keep making expensive falls like it has already done at the expense of the taxpayers and these taxpayers won’t be so forgiving the next time.

Furthermore it behoves on us as Ghanaians to keep a positive attitude that the organization can and would work if only the right tools are employed in trying to achieve its mandate.

A positive attitude will lead to positive results.

Like I always say,
It begins with YOU!

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