Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Thursday announced that government would in 2012 introduce more social interventions to propel the growth and human development of the country.
He said already the introduction of the Ghana Educational Trust Fund (GETFund) and the recent introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) had helped in moving Ghana into the medium human development category, positioning the country at 135 out of 187 countries and territories.
Vice President Mahama said this when he launched the 2011 Anglophone Africa Global Human Development Report (HDR) under the theme; “Sustainability and Equity; A better Future for All.”
The report, which addresses the integral links between long-term environmental protection and greater social equality, concludes that the remarkable human development progress in most low-income countries in recent decades could be slowed or even halted by mid-century unless bold steps were taken to reduce environmental risks and inequalities.
It also identifies many positive national policy models that offered ways for countries and the world community to promote environmental sustainability and equity simultaneously.
The launch attracted representatives from other English speaking countries across the Sub-region.
Vice President Mahama reiterated government’s commitment towards ensuring equity in human development in the country.
“Government will also invest so much in schools and education in general to ensure that accessibility becomes less difficult in the entire country,” he said.
He called for closer collaboration among all stakeholders to enable government to achieve its development goals.
Vice President Mahama acknowledged contributions of past governments towards the development of micro-economic programmes to reduce poverty among vulnerable groups and communities.
The Report indicated a significant increase in Ghana’s Human Development Index (HDI) value from 0.385 to 0.541, registering an increase of 40 percent or an annual increase of about 1.1 per cent between 1980 and 2011.
It also acknowledged the tremendous increase in Ghana’s life expectancy at birth which currently stood at 11.1 years between the years 1980 to 2011.
Vice President Mahama indicated that though much had been achieved there was the need to move faster in order to attain the highest growth required.
He called for positive attitudes from the public towards ensuring environmental sustainability which had been identified a critical ingredient for eliminating climate change challenges.
“Climate change is real and is affecting access to various natural resources including fresh water, pasture for animals as well as crop yields leading to hikes in food prices,” he said.
He said though developing countries could not chart the same course as the developed countries in reducing climate change, “we must be vigilant on efforts towards the reduction of pressure of human existence on land and chart a course for green development”.
Ms Rebeca Grynspan, UN Under-Secretary and UNDP Associate Administrator, who presented an overview of the report said Ghana was chosen to host the launch on behalf of Anglophone Africa because of its achievements and commitment to sustainable development.
She said all the gains made over the years could be lost if people did not act responsibly towards the sustainability of their environment.
She called for a total halt to environmental degradation and also the closure of the inequity gaps that existed between the rich on one end and poor vulnerable groups and communities on the other.
Ms Sherry Ayittey, Minister, Environment, Science and Technology, acknowledged the timeliness of the report, saying it offered important contributions to seek global action on safeguarding the future of the planet and the right of future generations everywhere to live healthy and fulfilling lives.
She said that human development must no longer remain a national issue but rather a global effort to chart comprehensive, collaborative and sustainable steps to reduce both environmental risks and inequalities globally.