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Ghana made strides in Social Development Index report

By Kodjo
Adams, GNA

Accra, Aug 22, GNA – Ghana has made strides in
the ‘African Social Development Index’ (ASDI) Report, which measures Human
Exclusion for Structural Transformation in West Africa, according to the United
Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

ASDI was developed to measure problems of
development that are specific to the continent and it follows a life-cycle
approach which measures  the extent of human exclusion in six areas
including survival, health, education, employment, means of subsistence and life
expectancy at 60.

Dr Zack Jones Zulu, Social Affairs Officer,
Social Development Policy Division, ECA launching the report said Ghana’s Human
Exclusion was estimated to have reduced by almost 32 per cent during the period
2000-2014.

This, he explained, was on account of healthy
economic growth during that period, complemented by targeted social policies
that included specific measures for improved inclusive health through the
national health insurance scheme and other social protection initiatives.

Dr Zulu said the expansion of government’s
flagship Livelihood Empowerment against Poverty programme benefited the poorest
people and was on track to expanding its coverage by 62 per cent in 2015 to
reach 144,980 households.

He said in terms of gender dynamics, the
exclusion of women decreased by more than 32 per cent, while the exclusion of
men decreased by 28 per cent between 2000 and 2014, saying there was a
reduction in gender disparities in exclusion, which reflected government’s
effort to improve lives and provide opportunities to women.

Dr Zulu noted that the rise in human exclusion
at the sub-national level confirmed a significant rise in almost all the 10
regions, adding, the rate was lower in the Northern, Upper West and Upper East
Regions compared to Central, Western and Greater Accra during the period 2000
to 2014.

He said notwithstanding the improvements in
human inclusion, the social indicators have a varying contribution to the ASDI,
which had changed over the period under review 2000 to 2014.

“Although the actual data on infant mortality
dropped from 77 to 41 deaths per 1000 live births during that period, human
exclusion was driven by infant mortality and poverty,” he said.

The report said Ghana continued to face
challenges in bridging the gap between population growth and economic
development, given that the youthful population was characterised by high
levels of unemployment and underemployment.

The report said the smooth conduct of the
general elections in 2016 and transfer of power to a new President and
government in January 2017 provided the country with a strong foundation for
political stability, which will contribute to continuing the existing social
development agenda.

A speech read on behalf Madam Otiko Afisah
Djaba, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection said government was
committed to fostering the participation of all persons in the development of
the nation.

She said the Ministry was mandated to ensure
equality through the mainstreaming of gender consideration, promote the welfare
and protection of children and empower the vulnerable, and persons with
disabilities to contribute to national development.

She said the Ministry was in the process of
finalising the ‘Aged Bill’ to give it a legal basis for the implementation of
the National Ageing Policy, which would focus on promoting the welfare of the
aged, nutrition, poverty among others.

GNA

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