The Ministry for Inner City and Zongo Development will on January 8 hold the maiden conference on peace and development in zongo communities in Kumasi.

The conference, which would be held under the theme: “Developing our Zongo communities through tolerance and peace”, aims at bringing key players in Zongo communities together to dialogue and chart on an endurable path for peace.

Dr Mustapha Abdul Hamid, the Sector Minister, speaking at a press launch, said the Zongo for Peace and Development Conference (ZOPAD) was one of the many initiatives being rolled out by the ministry with the aim of engendering and fostering sustainable unity among residents of zongo communities in country.

He said zongo communities are melting pots of ethnicities and religions, which though could engender cooperation and understanding, could also be the basis for disagreement and even conflicts.

The Minister said while government trusted the good sense of people to be faithful to these divergences, it is important to make conscious efforts to partner with people in zongo communities to weave these differences into a beautiful tapestry of cooperation, understanding and development.

Dr Hamid said the President established the Ministry purposely to engender development and bridge the gap between inner cities and zongo communities and the rest of the areas in the country.

However, development could only be built on a foundation of peace and it is an important duty of the Ministry to ensure that development sits securely on the foundation of peace.

Dr Hamid said the series of conferences which would be held across the country would help produce a blueprint with which the Ministry could continue to engage the people of zongo communities to reverse the narrative and the negative stereotype of zongo communities as violent habitats.

He said people in zongo communities have been instrumental in contributing to the growth and prosperity of the country.

Residents of zongo communities today, Dr Hamid said, owes it a duty to relive the excellent qualities that has enabled their forbearers to engrave their names not only on monuments, but also in the hearts of men and women in the country.

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