A Deputy Chief of Staff and Political Assistant to the President, Mr Francis Asenso-Boakye, has said the implementation of the current policies and programmes of the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government are important steps towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of ending all forms of poverty by the year 2030.
He mentioned some of the initiatives as the free senior high school (SHS), Planting for Food and Jobs, One district One factory, and the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication (IPEP).
He described Ghana’s current efforts as more direct and focused in alleviating the plight of the poor, and that the impact even within two years of its implementation were obvious.
Mr Asenso-Boakye was speaking in Guiyang, Guizhou Province, China, last Monday at a high-level dialogue on Big Data and Global Poverty Reduction as part of the China International Big Data Industry Expo 2019.
The deputy chief of staff, who is also a development planner, presented Ghana’s efforts and experiences over the years in alleviating poverty.
He indicated that “Ghana’s journey towards poverty alleviation took a concrete form when by year 2000 the country had taken the unenviable title as a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita income of $265 and 51 per cent of the population described as poor.
“A national development plan, under the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy, was developed and implemented focusing on poverty reduction by investing in the production areas of the poor such as rural agriculture, informal sector, processing and commerce,” he stated.
The deputy chief of staff said by 2008, poverty in Ghana had dropped to 25 per cent of the population while the African average was 43 per cent.
“The economic improvement had with it corollary social benefits, including free basic education, a national health insurance scheme, a school feeding programme for deprived areas, and targeted welfare scheme for the poor and aged,” he added.
Speakers at the dialogue included the President of China Federation of Internet Societies, Ren Xianliang; the Vice Governor of the Guizhou Provincial People’s Government, Mr Wu Qiang; the Chairman of Alibaba Foundation, Mr Sun Lijun, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Deputy Resident Representative in China, Devanand Ramiah.
More than 1,700 participants from 38 countries and regions, with a total of 413 companies and organisations, participated in the Big Data Industry Expo 2019.