The Director of the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Professor Dzodzi Tsikata, has tasked government to immediately implement measures that will bring reform to the country’s economic and social protection policies.
She argues that the policies which have for many years relied heavily on the export of primary agricultural commodities are no longer favorable for the economy.
Professor Tsikata therefore, advocated for a review of the country’s macroeconomic policies with increased focus on value addition to raw materials through agro processing, to strengthen the economy and also create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth.
Speaking at a public lecture held at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences on the theme: “Addressing the Crisis of Work in Ghana: What Role for Transformative Social Policy?” Professor Tsikata said it was crucial for the country to transition from the current agrarian society into a mixed economy, with a strong industrial and agricultural base that would engender economic growth.
Among other things the lecture sought to find solutions that face labour, as well as other pressing issues in the economy.
Prof. Tsikata bemoaned the current regime of social protection and made recommendations for transformative social policy, which would support and sustain the normalisation of decent work and diversified workforce.
“There is an ongoing global crisis of work from which Ghana is not exempted. It has common manifestation such as the growing informalisation, the overthrow of the Fordist Model of assembly of work and an increase in global migration”, she said.
She added, “The main factors fuelling the crisis are the neo-liberal turn in economic policies, which has resulted in jobless economic growth over the last four decades,”.
Prof. Tsikata said though the agricultural sector employed the largest segment of the people, it was characterized by low productivity, indebtedness, poor work conditions and low earnings and therefore, encouraged government to give more support to smallholder farmers to go into agro-industries, which would enable them to create the needed enterprises to employ more people.
“We need an economy that has a strong industrial base and a strong agricultural base and then can both draw synergies from each other to create enough jobs in the economy”.
“Government therefore needs to pay more attention to the agricultural sector,” she added.
Source: Citi Business News