Ghanaians must not politicise national issues – Prof Osam

Professor Emmanuel Kweku Osam, Pro Vice-Chancellor, in-charge of Academics, University of Ghana, on Thursday appealed to Ghanaians not to politicise issues relating to the country’s oil find in order attract meaningful contributions towards its development.

He said the nation is now at a crossroad and people need to redirect their political discourse and discuss issues dispassionately for the collective good of all Ghanaians.

Prof Osam was speaking at the launch of the 63rd Annual New Year School and Conference (ANYSC) which is slated for January 8-14, 2012 in Accra.

The theme for the upcoming conference scheduled for January next year is: “One year of oil and gas productions: Emerging issues”.

The Annual New Year School is a flagship programme of the Institute of Continuing and Distance Education of the University of Ghana which draws people from all walks of life to meet and deliberate on vital issues of national and international concern.

The objective of the institute is to provide a platform for the dispassionate discussion of matters affecting the overall development of the country as well as encourage consensus-building among people of diverse opinions and backgrounds.

Prof Osam said in the last few years, Ghana has always been in the news especially, with the discovery of oil in commercial quantities as people wonder whether the oil find would bless or blight the nation.

He said Ghana must learn from the best practices in the world in terms of its oil and gas and not abandoned the agricultural sector where majority of its people are employed.

Professor John Gyapong, Pro Vice-Chancellor in-charge of Research, Innovation and Development, University of Ghana, who formally launched the 63rd Annual New Year School, said Ghana now has the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of countries like Nigeria.

He said Ghana could also learn from Norway’s strategy of managing and utilizing its oil and gas resources for the benefit of its people.

Prof Yaw Oheneba-Sakyi, Head of the Institute of Continuing and Distance Education, University of Ghana, said the objectives of the 63rd ANYSC was to raise the awareness of Ghanaians regarding the key issues facing the oil and gas sector as well as key developments in terms of policy decisions of the industry.

He said the conference would provide a platform for Ghanaians to discuss dispassionately regulatory framework, governance and revenue management strategies that are in place to guarantee entitlement to the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) and the people of Ghana.

Prof Oheneba-Sakyi said the meeting would also provide opportunities to civil society organisations, scholars, journalists, parliamentarians and concern citizens to offer alternative strategies towards the efficient and effective management of oil and gas production.

He said issuance of communiqué at the close of the school and conference has influenced public policy over the years.

Source: GNA

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