General News of Wednesday, 11 October 2017
Government has created an account with a seed capital of GHC 1.5 million to support victims of human trafficking and hunt down perpetrators of such crimes in the country.
A directive has also been issued by the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to ban recruitment of house maids or servants abroad, which is intended to curb excessive exploitation of young people.
Madam Otiko Afisa Djaba, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, made the disclosure at the launch of the Social and Gender Integration Plan (SGIP) Document in Accra on Monday.
She urged Ghanaians who found themselves in foreign countries to insist on their fundamental human rights and contact Ghanaian missions abroad whenever they faced challenges with their hosts’ countries.
The Plan was designed by the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), to address social inequalities among women, men and vulnerable groups regarding access to energy or electricity.
It is also intended to resolve obstacles that hinder the accessibility of energy by the vulnerable groups in the society, especially women in the implementation of the Ghana Power Compact.
The government, she said, had prioritised issues of gender because Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, had been made the African Union Gender Champion and Co-chairperson of the Sustainable Development Goals, bringing to fore, the issues of gender.
She said the Ministry existed to ensure equal opportunities for both men and women with regards to access to electricity and safeguard the rights of children.
“We seek to empower the vulnerable persons, especially the girl child, women, the socially excluded, the aged and persons with disability, therefore, the project aims at achieving gender mainstreaming,” she emphasised.
Madam Afisa Djaba gave the assurance that, the Ministry would co-operate fully with the implementing agencies to ensure that the country derived maximum benefit and ultimately reduce poverty.
She said the Ministry had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with MiDA to signify the collaboration and its commitment of making available technical expertise on gender and social inclusion issues to drive the implementation of the Plan.
Mr Owura Kwaku Sarfo, the Chief Executive Officer of the MiDA, said the Ghana Power Compact, would support social and gender inclusion programmes with financial support from the Millennium Challenge Account.
He therefore prescribed the implementation of the SGIP as a pre-condition to the disbursement of the programme funds.
The SGIP document, he said, was accepted in June this year, which would serve as an operating and monitoring tool, to ensure that social and gender inclusion were integrated in the project designs, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
Dr. Cherub Antwi-Nsiah, the MiDA Director in-charge of Social and Gender Inclusion, in a presentation on the SGIP, said the document provided analysis of the gender and social issues in Ghana’s power sector and described the socio-economic issues underlining the inequalities in the society.
She said the execution of the Plan would increase employment opportunities for women and disadvantaged groups in the energy sector, reduce electricity costs to legal rate payers through lower cost reflective tariffs and ensure safe and secure work environment for the citizens.
Some of the implementing agencies of the SGIP include the Electricity Company of Ghana, the Energy Commission, the Ghana Standard Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Lands Commission, the Volta River Authority and the Public Utility and Regulatory Commission.