Government announces new policy
The Akufo-Addo administration intends to award 30 percent out of the 70 percent government contracts for local companies to persons with disability and women.
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who made the announcement yesterday, said when it comes to issues of persons with disability, a certain amount of positive discrimination is allowed.
“If we want to build the inclusive society that we should be building as a country, then we should let the laws support the positive discrimination,” he said at a career fair for persons with disability organized by the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations in Accra yesterday.
“What we are saying is that in Ghana when we have a contract that is going to be taxpayer funded, within that 70%, at least 30% of that should be sourced from entities owned by women and persons with disability and those established under the Youth Enterprise Fund,” he said.
He said that would make a major impact in the employment of persons with disability.
The Vice President also disclosed that “government is in the process of implementing policies to ensure that persons with disabilities get equal opportunities to being appointed into public offices.
The NPP government, he said, has increased the District Assemblies Common Fund that is being allocated to persons with disabilities from 2% to 3%.”
“But more importantly, as we discussed at the Economic Management Team a few weeks ago, we understood that when the money gets to the districts, there is a problem of actually moving the money from the Assemblies to the persons with disabilities,” he noted.
Apart from increasing the amount that was going to the districts, he emphasized the need to operate a system like the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) to directly target persons with disabilities in the district.
“So rather than wait on the district assemblies to make those transfers – which we are hearing is not happening in many cases – if we register everybody as in LEAP, we can directly transfer those monies directly to persons with disabilities. So we have directed the Ministries to start putting in place the registration of persons with disabilities so that we can follow the same sort of system that is working with the LEAP,” he revealed.
To ensure this, he stressed the need to modernize, improve and resource special training schools for persons with disabilities to be trained for technical and skilled programmes.
The Vice President encouraged the private sector to support government to reduce unemployment.
He also entreated employers to “consider persons with disabilities in job listing, as we work towards Section 46 of the Labour Act 2003, which seeks to offer special incentives employers to people with disabilities.”
Going forward, he said “people with disabilities who engage in business or enterprise will also receive incentives in accordance with the provisions of this Act.”
Dr Bawumia reiterated government’s commitment to amending the existing Disability Act 2006, Act 715 to meet the UN Convention on disability.
Article 27 of the UN Convention on persons with disability focuses on decent employment for people with disability, recognizing the right to work in the labour market that is open, inclusive and assessable.”
According to him, “It is a big shame that we’ve had a Disability Act since 2006, the Mental Health Act since 2012 and the LIs that are necessary to actually activate these Acts and get the benefits to the people for whose benefit these Acts were passed have not been promulgated.