Accra, Aug. 26, GNA – Madam Frema Osei Opare, Chief of Staff, says government has demonstrated commitment towards the Agenda 2030 of the Sustainable development goals (SDGs).
She said Government under the leadership of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo appreciated the importance of social development and had demonstrated its commitment in elevating the plight of vulnerable by ensuring that they functioned productively in our community.
Madam Osei Opare was giving the keynote address at the opening session of a two-day 2019 MOGCSP Summit being held in Accra and supported by the UNICEF, World Bank, World Food Programme, UNFPA, Canadian government and International Organisation for Migration.
It is on the theme: “Promoting social inclusion, leave no one behind.”
The Chief of Staff said government had adopted a broad and holistic approach towards poverty reduction through its special initiatives with coordination at the level of the presidency to ensure that households were empowered against any form of vulnerability.
The formulation of the coordinated programme of social and economic development policy for 2017 to 2024 had integrated the implementation of development programmes such as planting for food and jobs, the Nation Builders Corps(NABCO), Free Senior High School, One District One Factory (1D1F), One village One Dam and many others geared towards building both economic and social resilience against vulnerability.
“Most of these programmes are at various stages of implementation and already driving back vulnerability among households and in many communities across the country,” she explained.
The Guest of Honour said government had also increased its support to the MOGCSP to make it effective in identifying and addressing appropriately and adequately the challenges confronting the persons who fall out of the mainstream of national development process.
This together with a comprehensive economic development process, development programmes mentioned above would guarantee the safety of all citizens of this country from hunger, exploitation, abuse as well as ensure access to health care, education, employment and recreation, she added.
Madam Osei Opare said the Summit was very timely due to Ghana’s resolve towards actively engaging all stakeholders and practitioners in the social development sector in order to ensure sustainable social inclusion, adding that the purpose of the gathering was dear to the heart of President Akufo-Addo, since issues of gender equality, the welfare of children and the vulnerable in society can no longer be over-looked.
She said the theme was relevant because enhancing social inclusion in all aspect of society remained cardinal in Ghana’s effort towards ensuring sustainable development.
Promoting social inclusion required the effort of all, instituting the requisite institutional and quality framework towards monitoring and tracking progress and deficiencies in order to ensure that no one was left behind, she noted.
She urged the participants to help track and identify policy and implementation gaps that would feed into the ministry’s plan and programmes to make the pursuit of social inclusion very effective.
Mrs Cynthia Mamle Morrison, the Minister in charge of Gender, Children and Social Protection, said the Ministry had introduced community dialogue series to interact with beneficiaries on how to improve on service delivery.
It had over the years developed policies, strategies, plan and legislation to support the implementation of social intervention programmes in Ghana.
She enumerated them as social protection policy, national gender policy, Ghana school feeding policy, children’s act, the disability act, a five-year-strategic plan to address teenage pregnancy and national framework on ending child marriage.
“We are also vigorously pursuing the passage of the flowing bills into law, the affirmative action bill, social protection bill national aged people’s bill and the Ghana school feeding bill,” she said.
Dr Afisah Zakaria, Chief Director of the Ministry, gave some of the challenges of the Ministry as personnel and logistics.
Dr Kojo Appiah-Kubi, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Gender and Children, said the committee would do everything to get the President’s dream on gender equality into reality.
Miss Anne-Claire Dufay, a representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), said there were too many cases of child neglect, where fathers left their wives and children by not supporting their living expenses, stressing that that attitude must change in protecting girls, children and women.
Miss Sarah Nicholls, Minister Counselor Development and Head of Cooperation Canadian High Commission, said though Ghana had made progress in SDG five, there still persisted some inequalities.