Member of Parliament for Atwimwa Kwanwoma, Dr. Kojo Appiah-Kubi, has indicated that Ghana is far behind in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, hence the need for doubling up efforts and proper targeting of the poor.
He pointed out that the country may have achieved most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) but much effort has not been invested into the SDGs in the area of poverty reduction among children and the youth.
Presenting a statement at the Plenary on Economic Growth, Poverty and Inequality in Ghana, Dr. Appiah-Kubi informed the House that given that, the overarching goal of economic policy is to reduce poverty levels, the increasing poverty incidence and inequality shows the country’s economic policies are not benefiting the poor.
Dr. Appiah-Kubi reiterated that poverty situation in the country should be a cause for concern for Ghanaians and that, child poverty causes a vicious cycle of trans-generational poverty.
Grounding his assertion on verified figures by the Ghana Statistical Service’s survey on child poverty in their recent findings, Dr. Appiah-Kubi stated that there are far more poor children of 28.4 percent than poor adults of the total population.
“The worrying aspect of our social structure is that there are more poor children of 28.4 percent than poor adults and also than the average population of 24.2 percent. Almost three out of every ten children are poor nationwide compared to two in ten of total population. The irony of it all is that child poverty remains considerably higher in rural areas, constituting 41.8 percent than in urban areas of 13 percent”, he disclosed.
Speaking on intra-regional disparities on poverty, Dr. Appiah-Kubi further explained that the three northern regions, (Upper West, Upper East and Northern Regions) continue to suffer from slower pace of development and higher income inequality.
On Ghana’s achievement of the MDGs, Dr. Appiah-Kubi indicated that the country has become the first Sub Saharan African nation to achieve the MDG 1 target of halving poverty by the end of 2015.
He concluded that the economic boom of the country has also boosted social investments which, have subsequently contributed to more than 50 percent reduction in the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water, and helped to achieve other MDG targets related to universal primary education and gender parity in primary schools.
Isaac Adongo’s submission at the Plenary
Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga Central, Mr. Isaac Adongo, in his submission on the statement, indicated that social protection for the less privileged is important to help their participation in economic activities.
He explained that the less privileged should be identified and brought up overtime with social protection in order to bring them into the mainstream economic activities.
He however revealed that there are several threats to efforts in reducing poverty, ensuring inclusiveness and even distribution of national income.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament, Mr. Adongo averred that one of the areas that shows signs of failure of successive governments to address the problem of poverty, is inadequate capacity building of human resource.
Delving deeper into the matter, he pointed out that it has become so difficult for the country to provide graduates with employment opportunities and that, the country is now resorting to social intervention to address a major economic tool (graduates) for national development.
Mr. Adongo suggested that the failure has to be addressed in the long term by looking at fiscal, monitory and economic policies that will bring opportunities for the graduates to be gainfully employed to contribute to reducing poverty in the country.
Ghana’s achievement on the MDGs
The 2015 Ghana Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report is the sixth and final report in the biennial MDG Reports series.
The report was published in 2015 and it examines progress made since 2000 towards attainment of all the goals and their targets, and draws some lessons from the implementation and monitoring of the MDGs.
According to the report, out of the 21 targets and 60 official indicators adopted globally for monitoring the MDGs, Ghana has, however, adopted a more nationally relevant set of 17 targets and 36 indicators.
Targets such as halving extreme poverty, halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water, universal primary education and gender parity in primary school have been attained.
Substantial progress has been made in reducing Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) prevalence, access to Information Communication Technology (ICT) and reducing the proportion of people suffering from hunger.
Slow progress has been made on full and productive employment, equal share of women in non-agriculture wage employment, and women’s involvement in governance, reversing environmental resource loss and improving sanitation.
Several policies and initiatives are underway to achieve most of the targets under the SDGs by 2030.