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The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has stated that the vision of his government is to create an optimistic, self-confident and prosperous nation, through the creative exploitation of the country’s human and natural resources, and operating within a democratic, open and fair society, in which mutual trust and economic opportunities exist for all.
Launching Government’s 7-year Co-ordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies, on Wednesday, 11th April, 2018, at the Accra International Conference Centre, the President stated that this vision is informed by the need to establish a strong economy, that creates opportunities, inspires people to start businesses, stimulates expansion of existing businesses, and, ultimately, leads to the creation of jobs, increased economic growth and higher incomes.
As a result of the implementation of the policy, President noted that citizens should be to expand their scope of choice in consumption and saving decisions, “whilst Government is able to enhance its capacity to provide basic public goods and services that citizens desire; enhance access to social services, such as education, training and skills development and healthcare; and direct investment in infrastructure, such as transportation, power, affordable housing and water.”
To this end, Government’s policy direction, according to the President, is founded on five pillars of growth and development, namely revitalizing the economy; transforming agriculture and industry; revamping economic and social infrastructure; strengthening social protection and inclusion; and reforming delivery of public service institutions.
Economic, Industrial & Social policy
An important pivot of Government’s economic policy, President Akufo-Addo said, is effective fiscal policy management, which includes maintaining fiscal discipline by narrowing the public spending-revenue gap, reducing Government borrowing, and creating the fiscal space to reduce the vulnerabilities of the economy to shocks.
Good fiscal management, he added, will create favorable conditions for reducing interest rates to spur private sector investment, expansion and enhanced productivity.
Additionally, the President stated that the industrial policy, under the Co-ordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies, will provide direction to enhance the operational capacity of existing firms, and to facilitate small business incubation as a way to promote the Government’s “One District, One Factory” initiative.
“The industrial policy is to be supported by targeted provision of infrastructure to eliminate critical bottlenecks in the areas of roads, rail, aviation, water, sanitation, and energy, and distribute infrastructure fairly and comprehensively across the country,” he said.
Government’s social policy regime, President Akufo-Addo explained, is to invest in people, by improving access and ensuring the provision of quality education, healthcare, and affordable housing.
“An integrated social policy regime will address the demands of the growing population, urbanization and social infrastructure needs. Appropriate policies for social protection and inclusion will be sustained to address the needs of the vulnerable, including specific investments in rural, coastal, Zongo and inner city communities,” he said.
With the Coordinated Programme for Economic and Social Development Policies titled the “Agenda for Jobs: Creating Prosperity and Equal Opportunity for All”, the President noted that the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), as well as the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, are to prepare their respective Medium-Term Development Strategies and Plans in response to, and for implementing, the policies under the Agenda.
“We will facilitate the private sector to develop its capacities and position itself to partner Government in implementing key initiatives identified under the Agenda. Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have the significant role of disseminating information on the Agenda, facilitating direct interventions at the community level, and ensuring accountability in delivery,” he said.
Drivers of Agenda for Jobs
The transformation of the Ghanaian economy, President Akufo-Addo noted, demands the establishment of a world class labour force, adding that the Agenda proposes the development of a more and robust labour market data through operationalizing the Ghana Labour Market Information System (GLMIS), linking public service pay to productivity, making it more responsive to modern trends, introducing life-long skill training for workers, and improving the work environment.
“Government’s efforts will include improving the work environment, formalizing the informal sectors of the economy, resourcing and enhancing the workplace conditions of the Labour Department, Management Development and Productivity Institute, Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, the Public Services Commission, Office of the Head of Civil Service, and Local Government Service among others. Engagement with the Trade Unions would be intensified to facilitate productivity and harmonious industrial relations,” he said.
The President noted that in his address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York last year, he reiterated that sustainable development of Africa, including Ghana, must be predicated on technological innovation, research and development.
Acknowledging that Ghana has not paid due attention to research and development, which has hampered the development of innovation, Government, under the Agenda for Jobs will, as a matter of urgent policy, adequately resource the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), and its 13 affiliated institutes, as well as other national research institutes, to lead the introduction of broad-based innovation and productivity incentives in the national economy.
“It will strengthen further the link between research and industry, particularly the industrial associations and the institutions of research and learning,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo, therefore, called on public servants, private sector operators, organized labour, actors in the informal sector, members of the media, institutions for research and learning, civil society actors, religious figures, traditional authorities, and friends of Ghana, to join hands in ensuring that this national clarion call resonates.
This, he said, is crucial, “so that we usher in a new era to create jobs for our people, to set-off on a new epoch of ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’, and to generate prosperity and equal opportunity for all.”