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“MAKE NATIONAL ECONOMIC GROWTH BENEFICIAL TO ALL”

May 16, 2016, 7:48 a.m.

The Coordinator of the third World Network (TWN), Dr. Yao Graham, has stressed the need for deliberate state policy and action to make national economic growth beneficial to all Ghanaians.

That, he said, was important because historical experience had shown that socio-economic development in itself would not cover all segments of society unless the state undertook a conscious intervention by way of policies, investment and actions that would spread evenly to all.

The politics of inclusive equitable transformation will require the development of not only appropriate policies and practices but also institutions and orientation of cadre to be more democratic and accountable,” he said.

Dr. Graham said this when he delivered the keynote at a national forum on inclusive development in Accra on the topic: “Ghana’s socio-economic transformation and the imperative for equitable and inclusive development.”

Readiness by the state.

He said the attainment of inclusive and equitable development also required a readiness by the state to challenge the structures of power in the economy and society in order to create a level playing field that would ensure that local capacity was harnessed for the good of all.

There were four essential and interrelated processes, he said, that defined transformation, which are: a declining share of agriculture in gross domestic product (GDP) and employment, a rural-to-urban migration underpinned by rural and urban development, the rise of a modern industrial and service economy and a demographic transition from high births and deaths to low rates of births and deaths.

He also said economic and structural transformation was associated with the rising agricultural productivity, an integrated economy and rising per capita growth rates.

Since 1984, he said, Ghana’s economy had grown steadily and was considered among the most spectacular in Africa, reaching an all-time high of 14.4 percent in 2011 with the onset of oil production, adding that as a result of the steady growth and the rebasing of the economy, Ghana had become a lower middle-income country.

Troubling Realities

He said the positive developments in Ghana’s political economy over the last three decades co-existed with many troubling realities. 

“While the percentage of persons living in poverty has decreased significantly, the actual numbers have not dropped much from seven million in 2006 to 6.4 million in 2013. Significantly, economic, social and political inequalities persist and economic inequality has been rising throughout the life of the 4th Republic,” he lamented.

Ghana, he said, had been urbanising while de-industralising, adding that millions had fled poverty in the countryside and were looking for non-existent jobs in urban areas, and resultingin huge housing deficits, social services and sanitation issues in overcrowded poor neighborhoods.

INABILITY TO DELIVER DECENT, SECURE JOBS.

“The most glaring failure of the growth model has been its inability to deliver decent and secure jobs. This was the put in sharp perspective by last month’s public controversy about the government’s claims about the number of jobs it has created directly as part of social protection programmes or indirectly through economic policies underlined the critical status of this issue,” he stated.

Development governance, he said, ought to be about the processes, policies and institutions associated with purposefully promoting national development and ensuring a socially legitimate and inclusive distribution of its costs and benefits.

A member of National Development Planning Commission(NDPC), Professor Agyemang Badu Akosa, said the review of progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) suggested that while a number of development goals were met at the national level, the situation of some groups and regions within the country had worsened in terms of both income and non-income dimensions.

“The key lesson from the implementation of various frameworks in the context of our long term national development plan and associated medium-term plans and associated medium-term plans is that inequalities do not self-correct. On the contrary, they are perpetuated across generations if some deliberation actions are not taken to break the cycle,” he said. 

Source: The Daily Graphic

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