Mr Charles A. Abugre, a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), has urged the Government to harness the transportation potential of the Volta Lake for Ghana's socioeconomic development.
He said a well-developed water transport system from Akosombo to Yapei, coupled with a railway from Tema Port to Akosombo, would facilitate the swift movement of cargo to northern Ghana and other neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
"There are other favourable conditions for economic transformation, if you compare (Ghana) with Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, several other countries, we are blessed with at least two coastal cities with direct access to international shipping lines," Mr Abugre stated in his lecture in Accra at the 80th Birthday Celebration of Professor Akilagpa Sawyerr, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana.
The two-day celebration (September 5-6) was on the theme "Celebrating a Life of Academic Excellence, Public Service, Thought Leadership and Activism".
Prof Sawyerr, popularly known as Aki to many, was born on 24th March, 1939.
Mr Abugre, who is also an Independent Consultant and Co-Convenor, Transformation of Marginal Areas Foundation Universal, spoke on the topic "The Crisis of Work, Wages and Wealth (Generation and Distribution) in Ghana".
He recounted that in a work that SADA did, building a third or fourth coastal harbour was possible in Keta and Ada.
"We are also blessed to have a water body that runs inland for hundreds of kilometres with the possibility of creating a water-based navigation route as far hinterlands as Yapei," he said, adding "...we have not exploited the waterway but the potential exist".
He noted that another auspice of exceptionalism was that Ghana controls nearly 60 per cent of the share of the Volta water bodies.
"Most of Northern Ghana is nicely watered. Three permanent rivers - the Oti River, the White and the Black Volta, which are criss-crossed by tributaries. This means that there would be no need if properly harnessed to have food poverty," he said.
"But you see a sharp contrast when you go to the North during the rainy season, it is like haven of production while in the dry season, you fear the desert will approach us the following day. But the resources exist."
He said economic transformation means higher levels of productivity through the infusion of technology and modern, competitive management practices in the production and distribution of goods and services.
Mr Abugre said economic transformation tends to be a deliberate exercise driven by the need to deepen, accelerate and diversify economic growth in order to expand livelihoods opportunities including work and employment and the capacity of the state to deliver public goods.