ICDE to organize mini New Year Schools nationwide

The Institute of Continuing and Distance Education (ICDE) is considering organising replicas of the Annual New Year School as “road shows” throughout the country to make the concept accessible to many.

Professor Yaw Oheneba-Sakyi, Director of ICDE of the University of Ghana, who disclosed this at the weekend in Accra, said plans were afoot to source funding from partners and stakeholders to conduct mini New Year Schools throughout the country.

The Annual New Year School and conference is held as a national programme bringing together people from all walks of life to meet and dispassionately discuss vital issues of public concern.

This year, the 63rd New Year School and conference was held with theme: “One Year of Oil and Gas Production: Emerging Issues.”

The objective was to raise the awareness of Ghanaians regarding the key issues facing the oil and gas sector as well as the key developments in policy decisions in the industry.

It also provided the platform for Ghanaians to discuss regulatory frameworks, governance and revenue management strategies that were in place to guarantee some entitlements and royalties to the citizenry.

The 63rd Annual New Year School sought to provide the opportunities for civil society organizations, the media, parliamentarians and concerned individuals to offer alternative strategies towards the efficient and effective management of oil and gas revenue.

It is expected that recommendations of the school would provide the opportunity to influence policy.

At the end of the week-long deliberations on issues, the more than 418 participants from the 10  regions issued a nine-point recommendation.

Among the recommendations was that non-partisan public education on Petroleum and Oil Revenue Management Act should be promoted.

It said banks operating in the country should continuously build their capacity to remain relevant and competitive in the oil and gas industry.

The participants recommended that part of the oil revenue generated should be channeled into youth development and to build their entrepreneurial skills.

They asked the Government to invest massively in infrastructural development to address the infrastructure deficit in the country.

Some of the recommendations were “given the importance of maritime security of oil and gas industry, the Government should adopt and implement best practices on security from other oil producing nations.”

Others were; “in order to benefit from the local content and participation in the oil and gas industry, the individuals and businesses should position themselves properly and must form partnerships to raise the needed capital to participate in the industry.”

The rest included “companies in oil and gas industry as part of their corporate social responsibility should build the capacity of youth through local and external training programmes to acquire specialized skills in the industry.”

“To counteract the mass movement of people to the oil and gas sub-sector and cities, government should judiciously but creatively invest the oil revenue in other sectors and areas of the economy to develop and all round economy,” the eighth recommendation said.

The ninth recommendation suggested that the Ghana National Petroleum Company and partners should intensify the exploration and production of oil resources to sustain and prolong the lifespan of the industry since the oil and gas could be depleted.

Of the more than 418 participants, 23 per cent were female whiles the 321 members representing 77 per cent were male.

Forty-eight per cent of them had post graduate qualifications, whiles 47 per cent had acquired tertiary education and five per cent obtained post secondary and second cycle certificates.

In terms of profession, teachers were heavily represented with a 37 percentage, whiles trade unionists and assembly men and district chief executives had 17 per cent respectively.

Civil servants had 16 per cent, whiles miners and petroleum workers’ representation was four per cent and participants from other professions were nine per cent.

In terms of regional representation, Greater Accra Region commanded the lead with a 57 per cent, followed by Ashanti Region with nine per cent, then Central Region with eight per cent and Western Region with seven per cent.

The rest of the regions were Eastern (6 per cent), Brong Ahafo (4 per cent), Volta (3 per cent), Upper West (2 per cent), Upper East (2 per cent) and Northern Region (1.4 per cent).

Participants aged between 41 to 50 years dominated with a 35 per cent representation whiles those between 51 and 60 years came a close second with a 32 per cent representation.

Those between 31 and 40 years were 24 per cent whiles participants between 21 and 30 years were a mere five per cent representation.

Those below 21 years were one per cent indicating a surprising disinterest in engagement in public debate and discussion of the country’s natural resource on the part of the Youth.

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.