Academic outlines strategies to propel Ghana
Prof Edward Badu, Provost of the College of Architecture and Planning at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, has called for collaboration, innovation and creativity in rural policy advancement to propel the country into the middle income bracket.
He said with Ghana’s vision to assume the middle income status by 2020 and positioned as a development pacesetter in Africa, it was imperative that bold decisions were taken towards rural policy development and enforcement.
Prof. Badu was addressing the opening of the sixth lecture series of Sunyani Polytechnic in Sunyani on Monday.
The two-day lecture is on the theme: “Rural development and national progress.”
Prof. Badu said successive governments had taken important steps to rationalize rural operational processes and practices within the framework of institutional reforms.
He said rapid development approach adopted by government in the last two decades or more was a set of management principles geared towards enabling private sector project teams to achieve concrete results on the ground.
Despite these critical measures and other policies that had been mounted to advance rural economic development agenda in Ghana, he said, problems still persisted in these efforts.
Prof. Badu said analysis of the rural development approaches employed revealed that limited financial, manpower and organizational resources made the dreams of rural development unachievable.
He said in spite of the enormous problems confronting rural economy, the sector continued to play its leading role as a major Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contributor.
Prof Badu said with rural agriculture economy contributing almost 36 percent and the rural non-farm economy accounting for 30 percent to 45 percent of rural incomes throughout developing countries, it is glaring that the overall national economy can stand alone without the contributions of the rural economy.
He said to be able to attain the needed confidence and “rub shoulders with the West”, Africa and for that matter Ghana needed to reposition itself towards sustainable rural development.
This would require drifting from the conventional way of development, thus, shifting from peasant farming to industrialized and mechanized farming.
Prof. Kwaku Owusu, Acting Rector of Sunyani Polytechnic, noted with concern that the use of traditional farm implements and absence of appropriate farming methods over the years had not met the goals of reducing hunger to ensure food security.
He said attempts had been made by successive governments to improve technical education to be able to deal with certain national issues including accessibility to rural communities, rural transportation, communication, improvement and management of rural housing, forestation and management of bushfires, sanitation and protection of water bodies but not much had been achieved.
Prof. Owusu emphasized the importance to develop simple and workable poverty reduction mechanisms that would enhance aggressive rural development.
Mr. Cassius Amoako, head of the research unit of the polytechnic, said the lectures were introduced six years ago to give members of the polytechnic community and other tertiary institutions the chance to publish their research.
It would also enable the lecturers to come out with a workable document that would contain all research reports and published and kept at public, polytechnic and university libraries.