The Convention People’s Party’s (CPP) Shadow Minister for Employment, Mrs. Susana Adu-Amankwah on Wednesday said a future CPP government would revive Ghana’s local manufacturing industrial base.
She said this would help tackle the mass unemployment especially among the youth and encourage the use of local raw materials by manufacturing industries to boost production in the country’s agricultural sector.
Mrs. Adu-Amankwah announced this at a press conference to highlight the party’s vision and prospects at capturing political power, in Accra. She said job creation was close to the heart of the CPP, noting that the nation had not created enough jobs since the 1966 coup d’etat which resulted in the current back log of unemployment in the country.
Mrs. Adu-Amankwah said a CPP administration considered industrialization and modernisation of agriculture as a key tool for development because such a process would open up opportunities to change the relationship between agriculture and industry.
“A CPP Administration would encourage and strengthen out-grower schemes and contract farming”, adding, ad-hoc agreements would be replaced by coordinated commercial relations between producers, traders and processors (industries) which would lead to the vertical integration of the agriculture value chain.
The CPP Shadow Minister for Employment explained that the out-grower schemes and contract farming in the agricultural supply chain presented opportunities for globally active firms and local smallholder farmers alike adding, agri-businesses that had land issues could also use contract farming with
local farmers to overcome constraints.
She stated that a CPP government would tap into new technologies in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to improve the agricultural sector and encourage industries to open up in areas where raw materials for their products were readily available. “This would provide ready markets for produce of local farmers and create employment for such local communities”, she said.
Mrs. Adu-Amankwah said a CPP administration would provide motivation packages for agricultural extension officers in all districts to enable them provide better services to farmers and ensure the establishment of youth-in-gainful-agriculture clubs for graduates in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and chiefs to help increase the number of youth going into agriculture as a business.
She expressed worry about the lack of protection of Ghana’s local industries from foreign competition, citing lack of financial capital and influx of cheap foreign goods as major challenges suppressing the performances of the country’s industries and stressed that infant industries must be nurtured by government until they were ready to compete in the global market places.
Mrs. Adu-Amankwah in addition, said they would provide protective duties or enhanced duties on foreign goods to enable local manufacturers compete with their foreign competitors. She said CPP would develop an inter-sectoral approach which would involve the Ministries of Tourism, Environment, Local Government and Rural Development to strategise on how to clean up the country’s local beaches and improve the sanitation of public places to attract more tourists.
The Convention People’s Party’s (CPP) Shadow Minister for Employment said the ICT sector would be enhanced by accelerating existing plans and programmes within a broad ICT policy framework to attain innovation, accessibility and affordability.
Under the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), she argued against the “current state of nepotism, favouritism and party cronyism”, saying the programme had now been politicised to the point where “it serves only party activists.”
Mrs. Adu-Amankwah said the National Service Secretariat should be strengthened to ensure real job experience for graduates and make them more employable with the establishment of transitional career and business centres to keep the youth gainfully occupied while they continued to look for work.
She said a CPP administration would work with the Management Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI) to develop economy-wide indicators for productivity that would serve as the benchmark for determining wages and addressing the concerns of both labour and management.
Dr. Paa Kwasi Nduom, CPP Presidential Candidate for Election 2008, expressed concerned about the high school drop-out rate after the Junior High School level.
He said to address the issue and ensure continuous education, a CPP administration would abolish the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) that had prevented most talented youths from making the mark.
According to him, since the BECE was currently not a recognized document for securing employment, it must be removed to allow all children attain proper and smooth secondary education. GNA