3 May 2018

Ghana: Help in the Realization of Sustainable Development Goals--President Akufo-Addo Urges Organized Labour

press release

This year's May Day has been commemorated with a parade of Labour Unions at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.

The theme for May Day 2018 was Sustainable Development Goals and Decent Work: The role of Social Partners.

Addressing the parade, Ghana's President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo urged organized labour to help in the realization of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

President Akufo-Addo said the attainment of the SDG's, would be an investment in the future of the youth and that Government and other stakeholders had the obligation to leave them with an enduring legacy of a more prosperous, more stable, more secure, more just, and more peaceful world.

He disclosed that Ghana had completed its 5th and 6th reviews of the 3-year International Monetary Fund (IMF)-supported Extended Credit Facility Programme. That, he said, meant that Government now have the space to design its own social and economic programmes, without jettisoning the fiscal discipline and proper economic management necessary to give entrepreneurs the predictability and stability to plan properly, invest boldly to grow their enterprises, and create jobs to improve the quality of life of the Ghanaian.

He expressed appreciation for the common vision of the Tripartite Committee, comprising organized labour, Government, and the private sector, to work together to develop home-grown solutions to Ghana's problems. He added that the joint effort presented the country with the most effective path of realizing the vision of a Ghana beyond aid.

President Akufo-Addo said a 10-member committee, comprising 3 members each from the Ministries of Finance, Planning and Employment and Labour Relations, Organised Labour, and the Private Enterprise Federation, Chaired by the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Marfo, had been tasked to work out and produce a Charter (work plan) for Ghana beyond aid within six months of its establishment.

The Charter, he said, would then be subjected to scrutiny and debate by Parliament, and adopted as a follow-up to the Co-ordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies, when the nation would then know in detail how Government intended to move Ghana to a situation beyond aid.

On the structural transformation of the Ghanaian economy, President Akufo-Addo made it clear that Ghana could not afford to be dependent on the production and export of raw materials, and expect to be a prosperous and wealthy.

"We must turn our back on the old economy, and build a value-added, industrialized economy with modernized agriculture, which is neither victim nor pawn to the world economic order. Our relations with the world must be characterized by an increase in trade and investment co-operation, not aid," he said, adding the vision was to build a free, prosperous, independent country, a Ghana beyond aid.

This, the President said, was the only way to develop healthy relations with other countries and put Ghanaian products at the high end of the value chain in the global market place, and create jobs for the teeming masses of Ghanaians, particularly the youth.

President Akufo-Addo paid tribute to past labour leaders like Pobee Biney, Anthony Woode, Vidal Quist, John Tettegah and others for their outstanding contribution to the liberation of the nation from colonialism and expressed the hope that today's generation of labour leaders would also leave their own indelible marks on the history of Ghana.


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