General News of Sunday, 2 July 2017
Government is undertaking positive discrimination in favour of women, youth and persons with disabilities (PWDs), as part of measures to enhance their sources of livelihoods and their general welfare.
In view of this, the Ministry of Roads and Highways is rolling out a system to ensure the recruitment of PWDs to work in automated toll booths as toll agents across the country.
Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice-President, made the disclosure yesterday while delivering a keynote address at a Career Fair organised by the Ghana Federation of Disabilities Organisations, in Accra.
He said when the process was completed, PWDs would constitute not less than 50 per cent of people employed to operate toll booths across the country to reduce the rate of unemployment among them.
The career fair was held on theme: ‘Employing Persons with Disabilities to Promote Inclusive and Diversity in the Work Space – the Role of Policy Makers and Employers’.
Vice-President Bawumia said the government had increased the District Assemblies Common Fund allocation to the PWDs from two to three per cent.
He said government intended to operate a system similar to the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme so that monies meant for PWDs would be transferred directly to them in view of the delays by the district assemblies.
Vice-President Bawumia said government was committed to giving equal employment opportunities to PWDs and in the process of implementing a policy to ensure that they got the opportunity of serving in public offices.
This, he said, would improve their livelihoods and reduce the circle of poverty among PWDs,
“While this is an important initiative it is not sufficient, what we need is mainstreaming with persons with disabilities across both the public and the private sectors and therefore we needed a structure of making sure the PWDs attained the employment status,” he emphasised.
The Vice-President said government was ever committed at enhancing inclusive development across the country and would, therefore, create a conducive environment for PWDs to function effectively to contribute their quota towards national development.
He said the government was developing a comprehensive inclusive plan and a robust intervention for persons with disabilities.
In order to achieve that, he said, there was the need for accurate and reliable data for PWDs.
He indicated that the Economic Management Team had directed the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and other relevant institutions to register all PWDs in the country to facilitate the implementation of the plan.
He added that the National Identification System, which would start work this year, would also capture accurate data and up-to-date information on PWDs, which would serve as a step towards the provision of support to the disability community.
Currently, he said, the rate of unemployment of both able and disabled persons in the country was high and government had, therefore, instituted various ambitious policies and programmes in the agriculture, manufacturing industry, infrastructure and other areas intended to tackle the issue.
“We have to be honest and proactive on this issue and therefore positive discrimination in this aspect is needed because without that, we may not really achieve the required results,” Vice-President Bawumia said.