Accra, June 17 GNA – The First Deputy Speaker, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu has advised policymakers in Africa to promote good governance and accountability in order to reap the economic benefits of demographic dividend.
According to him, countries that wanted to move towards medium and long term development goals must also pay attention to investments in education, health, economic reforms and job creation.
Mr Osei-Owusu made the statement at the opening of the 10th Global Diplomacy Lab Incubator (GDL) in Accra.
The conference, which started on June 16 and would end on 19, 2019 is on theme: “Global Power Shit: Political and Economic inclusion for the next generation –Collaborating to realize the potential of the demographic dividend”.
The conference, which was organized under the auspices of the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany and the African Parliamentarians Against Corruption (APNAC) is being attended by participants from Ghana, Benin, Zimbabwe and Germany.
The objective of the conference is to investigate the potential of realizing the demographic dividend in Africa, and thereby to examine how new formats for international collaboration could help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) more effectively.
The specific goal is to experiment with new approaches, which can enable states to work collaboratively to realize collective goals on the topic of population dynamics.
Mr Osei-Owusu also stated that despite the high-level interest and efforts undertaken, poor governance continued in much of the continent, including the loss of public funds meant to the benefit citizens.
He said the weak accountability mechanisms and poor coordination of management across various levels of government continued to pose a challenge to African countries.
He said the tools for improving governance at both the continental and country level were in place, and stressed the need for lawmakers and anti-corruption campaigners to put together to ensure expert dividend.
Mr Osei-Owusu also stated that in order for the country to obtain useful dividends from the demographics, the cycle of poverty and inequality in the system must be broken.
Additionally, the matters of essential services such as education, character formation, health, and social protection must be provided whiles also addressing the issues of civic engagement, transition to employment, and the empowerment of girls and women on the Afri8can continent.
He noted that the interventions must be targeted at children, adolescents and youth, who needed to be supported by policies that allowed them to participate in building the future for themselves and their countries.
Mr Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah, Member of Parliament for Ho West on his part stated that the conference would offer participants the opportunity to learn and share experiences to enhance population management on the continent.
He said the meeting would provide participants the chance to discuss the population in Africa and how to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mr Firmin K. Adjahossou, Head, Accra Incubator Lab stressed the need for Africans to harness its demographic dividend taking into consideration its population growth as well as the limitation of the resources.
He said it was important for African governments to provide good policies for education in order to have better citizens.
He said all the policies being articulated at the conference could not be done in isolation but in partnership with various actors at the local and international level.