‘Kayayei’ housing project not sustainable; GHS100bn Obatanpa project’ll cater for them – Ofori-Atta

Finance Minister-designate Ken Ofori-Atta has indicated that the GHS100-billion Obatanpa project proposed by the government will be a better substitute for a housing unit that was intended to provide accommodation for female head porters, popularly known as “Kayayei” in the country.

Mr Ofori-Atta disclosed government’s plans to begin the construction of a 600-bed hostel in December 2020.

Delivering the 2020 budget in Parliament on Wednesday, 13 November 2019, the former Finance Minister said: “Mr Speaker, I am happy to announce that preparations are now complete and the construction of the first 600-bed kayayei hostel will commence in Agbogbloshie next month to provide accommodation and skills training to these vulnerable young women”.

But, appearing before Parliament’s Appointments Committee to be vetted on Thursday, 25 March 2021, he explained that the government has resolved to make the northern part of the country, where most of the Kayayei migrate from, a destination with opportunities they can benefit from.

He noted that their work is not “sustainable” and fraught with “too many human right abuses”.

“The challenge we have, I remember the President saying, you almost have an imaginary line between Brong Ahafo coming through Volta and we can’t continue to create a country with these two divisions. So, the question is: how do we turn the north, not into the backwater of Ghana, but actually a destination?” he questioned.

“And this is where the irrigation issues that we are contemplating financing that we got from AfDB for larger farms are doing. The issue of international airport so that suddenly, you have a certain reversal and I think that really, strategically, is what we should be looking at.

“And that is on the agenda for our Obatampa project in terms of investment that we allocate to the north,” he added.

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