A study conducted by the Levy Economics Institute, a research organization in US revealed that road improvements and the expansion of early childhood education leads to positive macroeconomic outcomes and greater gender equity in Africa.
The study showed that investments in the physical and social infrastructure help to generate employment opportunities, leading to an increase in household income and consumption expenditures.
The study was on the topic “Macroeconomic and Microeconomic Impacts of Policy Interventions to Reduce Unpaid Activities”, with focus on Ghana and Tanzania.
The study was supported by the Hewlett Foundation in collaboration with the United Nation Development Programme and the Ghana Statistical Service.
Mr Ajit Zacharias, Senior Scholar, Director of Distribution of Income, Levy Economics Institute, presenting the report at a workshop in Accra, said research had revealed that employed women were more prone to encounter time deficits in meeting their responsibilities toward responsibilities of unpaid household and care work than employed men in a variety of national contexts.
According to him, the most important factor in shaping the time deficits faced by women was the relatively high time requirements of household production.
Mr Zacharias said the research indicated that access to roads in Ghana and Tanzania helped in the reduction of preventable maternal deaths and improvements in girls’ school attendance.
He said these interventions have powerful effects on the overall economic development and human welfare through a variety of channels that were often described by economists as positive externalities.
He said most African countries do not take these interventions seriously, adding that it was imperative for authorities to invest in infrastructure development to maximize its full benefits to society.
Madam Bernice Abena Oduro, Principal Statistician, Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), said the main purpose of the study was to investigate the costs and benefits of policies that can lower time requirements for household production and alleviate the impoverishing effects of time deficits in both countries.
She said GSS would organized discussions on the study and elicit responses from a select group from government officials, academics, students, and civil societies on policy implications on Ghana.