Western Regional Minister-designate, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie has said the region is blessed as well as cursed but efforts must be put in place to ensure that the country benefits from the numerous resources available.
Appearing before the Appointment Committee of Parliament, he said, the region has so much to give to the country but requires some appreciable level of investment.
The region he said contributes so much to the income of the country including producing 60 percent of Ghanaâ€™s cocoa.
â€œAlmost all the forest estates in the country are left in the Western region. We are the only region producing Manganese, virtually 100 of Ghanaâ€™s rubber estates and 40 percent or more of the oil palm estates of the country,â€ he stated.
He added that the region has also overtaken Ashanti region as the leading gold producer and has a huge reserve of every mineral.
In spite of that, Dr. Afriyie said, the region suffers some of the worse burdens of deprivation in the country including the worse roads which are found in that region.
Doing the peak of HIV in Ghana, he said some of the worse incidents were in the mining areas of western region. â€œPractically, the prevalence rate in the mining areas were very high.â€
He stressed that there are also issues of environmental and water pollution which he would tackle when approved.
According to him, he intends to influence policies that would see an end to the situations believing that he is the right person for the job.