A World Bank study under review has shown the importance of a strengthened and functional private sector, the and the provision of roads and electricity in poverty reduction. The study found that the category of Ghanaians who are able to accumulate wealth work in the private sector while the poorest are engaged in agriculture, the sector which is also the highest employer.
The richest people, the study also found live in urban areas while the poorest people live in rural areas.
During a consultation meeting titled a Systematic Country Diagnostic Meeting with Civil Society Organisations a meeting that precedes the new World Bank Group Strategy in Ghana – called Country Partnership Framework, which is due in Fiscal year 2019, held at the Bank’s offices in Accra, one of the authors of the study Tomomi Tanaka indicated that the report found that Ghana could be part of the upper-middle income countries in 20 years from now – the upper-middle income countries have a per capita GDP of between 3,500 to 7,000, and some of these countries are Algeria, Belarus, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jordan, Paraguay and Peru.
According to the study Ghana can also reduce the poverty rate further in 25 years. The study noted that Ghana has been on the forefront of reducing poverty in Africa since 1990. The country reduced the poverty rate from 52.7 per cent to 24.2 per cent in 2012.
Tanaka said Ghana’s poverty rate however, is lower than that of lower-middle income countries – and it is an achievement, compared with other sub-Saharan African countries.
But while the study found that poverty has reduced in Ghana, there are some sharp disparities between achievements that were made in some regions.
For instance, it found that poverty reduced in the Upper East Region from 88.4 per cent to 40 per cent but in the Upper West Region poverty worsened.
It further found that regions that have achieved poverty reduction also increased the percentage of people in employment, and the reduction in poverty was also linked to the availability of roads and electricity, among other things.
The study found that while over 91 per cent of households in Accra have electricity, only 7 per cent of households in the Upper West Region have access to electricity
According to the study, there was an increase in agriculture labour in areas affected by climate change – for instance communities suffering from poor soil quality as a result of erosion and Tanaka indicated that, what that means is that the people in these regions do not have other opportunities and suggested that there is a need to look into the possibilities of creating other opportunities for these people.
Among others, the study found that Ghana is lagging behind its peers in tertiary education completion, and child mortality rates attributable to among others unsafe drinking water.
The Bank indicated that contributions from participants will be incorporated in the final report.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
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