Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, Okyehene, on Tuesday, suggested that Accra Metropolis should be decentralised further into various suburbs to achieve the required sustainable development.
He noted that with a population of 4.5 million, it was too much for the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the Sub-Metropolitan Areas alone to handle.
Osagyefo Ofori Panin made the suggestion at the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants’ (ACCA) Sustainability Conference in Accra.
The conference being organised by ACCA in collaboration with Ghana Sustainability Initiative, a Ghanaian NGO, was to assist businesses and organisations to realise the growing importance of sustainability.
The Okyehene said it was time that communities were given the chance to develop and defend their own social needs, because the central activity of government was outdated and the new trend was to entrust the people with the mandate to develop their own communities.
He said the lack of proper and adequate planning in various cities forced the youth to undertake ventures such as illegal tree felling, which degrades the forests.
The Okyehene pointed out that sustainable development alone was not enough because ‘we need the fuel to move the wheel’ to achieve the necessary goals, until sustainability would no longer be an issue but transformational development, where the people would be at the helm of their own affairs.
“It is also important to bear in mind that, as we advance, we do not leave majority of the people behind because the cycle of poverty leading to homeless children, are a threat to effective sustainability and development,” he added.
Osagyefo Ofori Panin noted that Africa had many natural resources but due to improper planning and greed “we are still poor”.
“When you hear the name Africa, what quickly comes to mind is civil war, hunger, poverty, political power struggle and civil unrests because that is how we Africans portray our continent. We need to change that negative image of the continent,” he added.
Nana Owusu Afari, President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) said the cost of sustainability of the limited resources in the country never featured in the profit and loss accounts of entrepreneurs.
He said the cost of environment, water pollution, air pollution, forest degradation and others were costs that businesses had to pay much attention to.
“I am happy that we are beginning to develop a reporting system that takes account of these costs so we don’t underestimate our cost, and enjoy profits we don’t deserve at the expense of the future generation,” he said.
Nana Owusu Afari said the provision made for cost to the environment would then be ploughed back towards accounting for sustainability of the environment in a responsible manner.
He said the AGI was committed to ensuring that industry implemented social and environmental strategies to contribute to the success of businesses that would survive and thrive in the long run.
“Admittedly, the poor ethical standards exhibited by some organizations bring to sharp focus the subject of business sustainability,” he said adding that, “every activity that we carry out comes with wider social and environmental costs largely unaccounted for.”
Nana Owusu Afari said it was in such regard that the AGI together with other partners introduced the Ghana Business Code, which covered principles, such as corporate relationships with employees, their health and wellbeing, relations with local communities, working conditions in the supply chain, transparency of business dealings, anti-fraud and anti-corruption behavior and the environment.
Mr Jamil Ampomah, Director, Sub Saharan Africa, ACCA, said sustainability was a long term process and hoped that organisations would set up small groups to report on both good and bad aspects of their economic and environmental report.
He said disclosures and reporting were very crucial because they were seen as the integral part of business and urged organisations to be balanced on their reportage.
Mr Joseph Winful, Senior Partner, KPMG Ghana, said sustainability had become a global issue and urged managements of companies to identify areas where practicable to ensure that they practiced good environmental values.
He called on them to sensitise all staff and the offenders sanctioned.