Posted by: rumnet | January 8, 2012

Alhaji Gilber Seidu Iddi THE CEO OF SADA

Alhaji Gilber Seidu Iddi  THE CEO OF SADA

Alhaji Gilber Seidu Iddi The CEO of SADA

(published in the november edition of the advocate)

By Alhassan Imoru 

The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA), which was conceived as for back as 2001 by the Mole Summit Series as an independent agency for co-ordinating a comprehensive development agenda for the northern Savannah ecological zone of Ghana, has at long last got a Chief Executive Officer (CEO).


He is Alhaji Gilbert Seidu Iddi, who was recently appointed to the position by the President, Professor John Evans Attah Mills to take effective from October 1, this year.

But who is Alhajio Gilbert Seidu Iddi, the man given the arduous task to transform the northern Ghanaian economy and society into a regional nexus of increased productivity of food and a buffer against persistent droughts and sporadic floods through a “Forested and Green North by 2030?”

In an exclusive interview with The ADVOCATE soon after his appointment as CEO for SADA, Alhaji Iddi can be summed up as an Agricultural Extension Professional, a Politician and an Academic spanning 34 years of this working life.

Educational Background

Born 61-years-ago at Bole in the Northern Region, Alhaji Iddi attended Bawku Secondary School from 1965 to1970 and obtained the GCE ‘O’ Level Certificate. He proceeded to Tamale Secondary School (TAMASCO) from 1970 to 1972 and came out successfully with the GCE ‘A’ Level Certificate

Desirous of achieving greater academic heights, Alhaji Iddi continued at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, from 1972 to 1976 where he graduated with a BSc (Hons) degree in Agriculture, Second Class (Upper Division).

He pursued further studies at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom (UK) between 1991-1992 and completed successfully with on MSc (Agricultural Extension) degree with Distinction.

On his return to Ghana a year later (1993), Alhaji Iddi continued studies at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (IMPA) and was awarded a Post- Graduate Certificate in Resource Management in Agriculture.

Earlier in 1988-1889 also at GIMPA, Alhaji Iddi participated in a Senior Project Officers Management Training for Africa (AMTA) programme, while in 1981 he tadied at the Ruppin Institute of Technology, Natanya, Israel and earned a Post-Graduate Certificate in Cotton Growing and Extension Methods.

Working Career

Alhaji Iddi started his working small Career in 1977 after obtaining his first degree at KNUST, as a Cotton Production Officer with the defunct Cotton Development Board, where he worked until 1987 rising to the rank of Senior Cotton Production/ Research Officer.

In that capacity, he drew and implemented agricultural extension programmes, provided extension services to cotton farmers, marketed farmers’ produce, and managed human resource and staff welfare.

From 1987 to 1992 Alhaji Iddi worked with a multi-midian dollar International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Government of Ghana (GOG) sponsored Smallholder Rehabilitation and Development Programme as Agricultural Extension Co-ordinator and second-in-command to the Programme Co-ordinator.

His duties included planning and implementing IFAD programme activities, liaising with Research, Extension and farmers, supervising extension staff and co-ordinating activities of implementing agencies and external supervisors.

Some notable achievements Alhaji Iddi made as Agricultural Extension Co-ordinator were improved production of root and tuber crops through adaptive trials and the multiplication and distribution of improved planting materials as well as improved access of small holders to markets by rehabilitating selected feeder roads.

As a member of the Programme Co-ordinating Unit (PCU), he assisted the expatriate Programme Co-ordinator and his local counterpart to effectively co-ordinate the activities of the various implementing agencies, namely the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), Department of Feeder Roads, Agricultural Extension Services and National Root and Tuber Crops Improvement Programme (NRTCIP).

Political Career

Alhaji Iddi’s training and background in agriculture came in handy when he served the Government of Ghana as Deputy Regional Minister for Agriculture in the Northern Region from 1993 to 1996. His duties included agricultural policy formulation, interpretation and the supervision of its implementation in the Northern Region.

He played a leading role in rehabilitating the dying rice industry, which used to be the main source of wealth of rich northern farmers, through the introduction of water harvesting technologies, pest management and control of “bushfire.” In Collaboration with colleague Deputy Regional Ministers for Agriculture in the country, they brought to an end the perennial food shortages at the tail end of every cropping season, popularly referred to as “the hunger gap.”

Alhaji Iddi was elevated to a substantive Regional Minister and served in the Northern and Volta Regions between 1996 and 2000, providing strategic direction for addressing development and security issues as well as co-ordinating activities of MDAs in the two regions.

Under his leadership, the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) collaborated with the Permanent Peace Negotiating Team (PPNT) to get the feuding  parties in the Dagbon Chieftaincy Crisis to meet at several forums to smoke a peace-pipe. Link to above. Conferences were held at Yendi, Salaga and Tamale as a result of which the war situation was returned to normalcy within six months.

As Regional Minister, he supervised the implementation of the government’s decentralization policy in the 18 Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) of the Northern Region. He also provided guidance to the MMDAs in development planning, in compliance with development related laws and regulations and best practices.

Alhaji Iddi initiated activities leading to the establishment of the first all-girls Senior High School in the  Northern Region located in the regional capital, Tamale. Working with a task force, he mobilized resources, acquired a site, prepared the layout, designs and drawings, and identified principal officers of the school.

Under his leadership the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) and the administration of University for Development Studies (UDS) mobilized resources including funds, infrastructure and human resources to meet the University’s teething challenges at its formative days.

Academic Career

As fate would have it, Alhaji Iddi was later to be employed a lecturer at the UDS which he helped to build.

From April 2001 until his recent appointment as CEO for SADA, he held the position of Lecturer and Head of the Agricultural Economics and Extension Department, Faculty of Agriculture of UDS.

Subjects he taught included Rural Sociology, Extension Methods, Project Management Administration and Supervision.

As Head of the Agricultural Economics and Extension Department, Alhaji Iddi developed the curriculum, recruited staff and secured accreditation for the commencement of the Post- Graduate Programme in “Innovation Communication Studies.”

He started the process for the establishment of the School of Agribusiness which culminated into the establishment of the Department of Agribusiness to be developed eventually to a Faculty of Agribusiness at a later date.

Alhaji Iddi was also instrumental in mainstreaming gender in all aspects of University life when he helped to establish the gender desk and gender focal person in his capacity as Chairman of the UDS Strategic Planning Sub-Committee.

He was one of a three-member committee of the UDS that planned and organized a donor conference on the University at the La Palm Beach Hotel in Accra. The outcomes of the conference include the many pledges made, some of which are yet to be redeemed.

However, among those redeemed are the French Government sponsored French-Science collaboration at the Faculty of Applied Sciences at Navrongo, and a Spanish aid–the completion of the Spanish Laboratory at Nyankpala and Navrongo Campuses.


Honours/ Awards

In spite of his very busy schedule, Alhaji Iddi has devoted some time to serve in the following capacities:

  • Chairman, Governing Council of Bolgatanga Polytechnic (2010 to date).
  • Patron, Northern Students Union (NORSU), UDS Branch (2010 to date.
  • Member, UDS Faculty of Agriculture Board (2001 to date).
  • Patron, Student’s Youth Parliament, UDS Nyankpala (2008 to date).

In his private life, Alhaji Iddi has been a successful farmer since 1980 to date, cultivating rice, maize, cowpea and soya beans on extensive farm lands using his two tractors and a combine harvester.

He is also the Proprietor of a registered private school in Tamale-Jagma memorial School Complex—from nursery through Kindergarten, Primary to Junior High School. Infact, Jagma Memorial complex is recognized among the top ten high fliers in the Tamale Metropolis.

Alhaji Iddi’s academic and enormous administrative background as well as political exposure, skills and experience in rural development, resource mobilization, good interpersonal relations, persuasive and inspiring leadership, zeal and passion to achieve results at all times as well as his disposition to welcome change as a challenge, would no doubt inure to the benefit of SADA of which he is the chief executive officer (CEO).



  1. Need his teleohone number to enable his schoolmates from Bawsco fraternise withh him

  2. shocked that with all this experiences and qualifications, he is running down SADA and corrupt to the brim. God Save Ghana

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