Business News of Monday, 10 September 2018
The Department for International Development Ghana has bemoaned the rising inequality in Ghana despite huge investments made by them and other developing partners like the World Bank to help reduce poverty in the country.
Over the last two decades, the UK has invested over 2 billion pounds of development aid in Ghana, development partners, however, say the strategies in using the funds have not been effective enough.
Their concern follows the launch of the 2016/2017 Ghana Living Standards by the Ghana Statistical Service.
According to the 7th round of the 2016/2017 Living Standards Survey, 23 out of every 100 people in Ghana are poor, whiles 8 out of every 100 people are extremely poor.
The research also revealed 5 regions— Central, Greater Accra, Eastern, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions experienced poverty declines over the last 4 years.
Greater Accra has the least poverty rate whiles Upper West remains the region with the highest poverty rate.
The report also showed that the Northern Region has over the period contributed to poverty more than any other region as the three northern regions contributed more than 40% to national poverty.
The overall results of the survey showed that the poverty rate is at 23.4 % whiles extreme poverty is at 8.2%.
Addressing the media after the launch of the survey, Country Director for the Department for International Development (DFID), Philip Smith commended the agenda of the country’s Ghana Beyond Aid initiative but said it should not just address self-reliance of the country but self-reliance for every individual as well.
“It’s important to also consider the chart of Ghana Beyond Aid which the government is now looking at , the data from the report is telling us that inequality is worsening between the North and the South and that is really important”, he said.
He added, “As development partners we have invested in the north of Ghana for decades and that support has been less than transformational”.
“So the rising inequality is a big issue for Ghana and we need to look at it in terms of how Ghana delivers the Sustainable Development Goals and we also need to look at it in terms of how we ensure that as Ghana moves beyond aid, inequality and support to the poorest and most marginalized Ghanaians is part of that ambitious agenda”.
Meanwhile Head of Industrial Statistics and IBES Coordinator, Anthony Krakah said going forward government must implement policies and champion wealth distribution accordingly to the various regions to stop the growing regional disparity amongst them.
“The way welfare is distributed as is measured in inequality has gone up, in other words welfare is more in the hands of a few people compared to the majority. Even though general growth has gone up it’s in the hands of only a few people and so a lot more people are not getting the wealth across the various regions in Ghana,” he said.