COVID-19 Menace in Ghana: Combating the Pandemic through Collaboration; Creating the Needed Environment for Socio-Economic Development
Let me digress qui te a bit by applauding organisations such as GOIL and individuals like Mc Dan and Honourable Kennedy Agyepong who have shouldered the core responsibility of the COVID-19 fight by providing PPEs and hand sanitizers in various quantities to complement the efforts of government, educating and keeping our fellow country men and women informed on the coronavirus pandemic.
In that sense, I would not hesitate to remind all that the fight hinges strongly on both personal responsibility and a collective one.
The government has rolled up her sleeves and is at the forefront of the fight but it is equally or greatly important that as citizens our personal responsibility is as important as inhaling and exhaling. Kindly spread calm and insistent on adherence or compliance to directives ; regular or frequent washing of hands with soap under running water, conforming to the social distancing order, avoiding handshakes, covering mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing respectively and immediately disposing off the tissue.
Let us be mindful that we need a healthy Ghana and therefore have to do away with our political colours but look at it as a holistic national issue.
Having indicated the above, it is imperative to mention that the president and his team are humbled by the privilege to have been given space to lead, to transform and to change the narrative of our beloved country.
Regrettably, after several years of Independence, Ghana hasn’t achieved the feat she should have attained but thanks to the benevolent people of Ghana who have entrusted the nation’s leadership in the care of Nana Addo by virtue of which we are moving steadily away from stagnation to prosperity through a carefully thought out vision: the vision of Ghana beyond aid.
Let me strongly commend the president for his sense of direction and for his relentless and unwavering mechanisms put in place and many more in the pipeline to opening equal access and opportunities for all Ghanaians and in his quest of enticing the youth of Ghana into agriculture and at the same time committed to the training of the nation’s labour force and setting the pace to industrialising Ghana.
It is empiracally evidenced and without equivocation that the driving force of a nation’s development is premised on these three factors:
1. Education (Human Resource)
2. Agriculture and
3. Energy and Industrialisation
The government has performed creditably well !
Education forms a critical spine in driving a nation’s forward match and propelling her development. Education trains a nation’s labour force. The teacher and nursing training allowances that were cancelled by self -serving president of northern Ghana descent like me where there is abject poverty unfortunately had it cancelled contrary to opposition and concerns raised by the trainees and civil society organisations as well as parents.
The president of the republic of Ghana, H.E Nana Addo since his ascension of presidency has made education a priority and is assiduosly working in that regard.
The efforts of the selfless and hardworking president has made the restoration of teacher and nursing trainee allowances a reality and is currently enjoyed by several thousands of potential teachers and nurses.
The implementation of the Free SHS policy is another milestone that has been chalked by the government and is inuring to the benefit of many potentially great scientists, doctors, lawyers, technocrats who otherwise would have been denied the opportunity except for the intervention of the FREE SHS policy.
It is so refreshing to note that the intervention of FREE SHS has averted some social vices such as armed robbery , prostitution , streetism that would have plague and hit us all hard as Ghanaians. Close to 1.2 million Ghanaians are currently beneficiaries of the FREE SHS policy without parents expending a pesewa on admission or school fees. With the advice and sage guidance of that proud Ghanaian educationist and a proud well lettered education policy activist and proprietor who is also the deputy minister for education, Dr. Osei Adu Twum, Ghana can be assured of transitioning from the traditional education of earning a living to an education of solving our problems.
Agriculture is reported to be the backbone of Ghana. This means that about 65 -70% of the Ghana is agriculture driven and this qualifies Ghana as a net exporter of raw materials.
Through the leadership of the president, Nana Addo there is an existence of a vibrant and living programme dubbed Planting For Food Jobs which has consistently subsidised fertilizer and the supply of improved seedlings to farmers. Additionally, is the rearing for food and jobs programme which was launched and piloted in my home region, the Upper West Region with the supply of domestic livestock to farmers for rearing which serves as a job and by extension a source of living.
The rural agricultural mechanisation project has ensured the nursing and distribution of cash crops like cashew seedlings to farmers and a typical beneficiary is the Wa West District of the Upper West. Amidst the worsening prices of cocoa that was inherited from the previous Mahama era of error, the government and CEO for Cocobod with neigbouring Burkina Faso, the two leading cocoa producing giants have successfully concluded agreements on a ceiling price of cocoa which means that the price of cocoa could increase above that price but not below.
Prior to Nana Addo’s presidency, the country was in darkness and load shedding was the norm, businesses had halted and business that were power driven was adversely affected and had to shut down, studies of students was disturbed. An entire ministry of power was created and yet compounded the problem even the more. Thankfully, the eratic and unstable power crisis that bedeviled Ghana has become history and is found in the history books of Ghana.
More seriously is the government’s commitment to industrialise , to move from a raw material producing and exporting country to a value addition economy while creating jobs in the formal and informal sectors of the country.
It is estimated that, between Ghana and Ivory coast produce the world’s chunk of cocoa. In fact, empirical data has it that, about 70% of the world’s finest cocoa is produced by these countries. Sadly, just 3% of the chocolate business can be found in Africa and these amongst others are the driving force to which Nana Addo is seriously and obvious changing ! There’s been a conscious government efforts to establishing cocoa processing factories, cassava processing factories, steel manufacturing factories, soya beans processing factories, rice milling and bagging factories, ceramics and tiles producing factories amongst others that would complement with the already commissioned and operationalized Eku juice factory.
There is so much to celebrate and plenty more to look forward to all in the interest and for the better of the life of Ghanaians and of a strong and self sufficient economy.
Salifu Abdul- Matin.