Shift from manufacturing sector causes poverty – Dr Yao Graham

General News of Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Source: Graphic Online

Yao Graham

The Co-ordinator of the Third World Network – Africa (TWN), Dr Yao Graham, has identified the shift from manufacturing to the service sector as a major cause of poverty in Africa.

He said people had drifted to the service sector mainly for distribution of cheap commodities manufactured from Asia, explaining that it was only through manufacturing that jobs were created.

Dr Graham made the observation at the opening of a two-week leadership training programme yesterday in Accra. It is designed to facilitate transformational leadership in the sub-region.

Dubbed, the “Civil society leadership institution” and organised by the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), the workshop is being attended by 20 participants from Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and the Gambia.

Dr Graham said for instance that in 1964, manufacturing was 4.4 per cent of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but “today, 2015, it’s 5.8 per cent. We have not moved.”

He said the current economic bailout being embarked upon by the government was not a novelty, but was about the eighth since Ghana’s independence and in all the cases, it was blamed on the fall in commodity prices.

“We have serious issues of gender inequality, some of our countries were recently ravaged by war and disease,” he said, citing the outbreak of Ebola in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea as not only affecting those countries but the fortunes of the entire continent.

On constitutional governance, Dr Graham said most citizens in the sub-region valued constitutionalist politics even if they were losing faith in the leadership.

“Even if they are worried about corruption and mismanagement, they have faith in the openness that we have,” he added.

Touching on good governance, Dr Graham said the best form of good governance was one which was transformational in terms of the best development outcomes for the majority in society.

He said good governance should facilitate the democratic participation of all and the accountability of power.

Dr Graham added that governance as a process was not yielding development results for the majority as a product of good governance and commended Ghana for “having high marks for good governance”.

Development governance

Referring to the 2009 least developed countries report, he said development governance was about creating a better future for members of society through the authority of the state.

“In general terms, governance is about the processes of interactions between the government and the society,” he said, adding that development governance was governance oriented to solving common national development problems.

The Executive Director of WACSI, Nana Asantewa Afadzinu, told the participants that the two-week programme should give them the opportunity to do serious introspection.

She said the vision was to create a new crop of leaders to take over from the visionary leaders Africa had over the years.