NDPC Holds Sensitisation Workshop On Inequality

NDPC Holds Sensitisation Workshop On Inequality

The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) has today, January 17, 2014 organised a media sensitisation workshop in preparation for the “Pan-African Conference on Inequalities in the Context of Structural Transformation scheduled for 28th– 30th April, 2014 at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC). The workshop was held in the conference room of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The conference is being held in collaboration with various partners including the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Millennium Campaign, Society for International Development and Third World Network-Africa.

Commencing the discussion, Dr Grace Bediako of the NDPC, observed that tackling inequality was as important as transforming the structure of the economy. She pointed out that while the averages of key indicators are looking impressive, they can be misleading as there is inequity in the distribution. Dr Bediako informed the media that the conference will be a follow up to the Global Consultation on Inequalities, hosted jointly by the Government of Denmark and the Government of Ghana in February 2013 in the context of the Post-2015 development agenda consultation process.

In her opening remarks, the Acting Resident Co-ordinator for the UN Systems, Ms Susan Ngongi, said that although Ghana is often cited as a success story in Africa, its rising inequality is often ignored. She revealed that Ghana had one of the fastest growing rates of inequality in Africa, with the richest 20% growing to own 50% of the national income between 1999 and 2006 and the poorest 20% owning just 5% within the same period. The UN system were working together with the NDPC for the conference, she explained.

An economics expert with the UNDP, Mr Kojo Sedegah, gave a presentation on economic inequality in Ghana. In his presentation, he explained that general poverty levels had fallen but there was a huge disparity in the rates at which they had fallen across the country. He observed that the Northern, Upper East and Upper West remained the three poorest regions, women were more likely to be poorer than women and crop farmers were the poorest category of workers in the country.

Dr Eric Osei-Assibey of the Department of Economics of the University of Ghana (UG), noted that there has been an improvement in gender parity at the basic levels of education but there remained a huge disparity at the secondary and especially tertiary level of education. He showed that the mortality rate for children under 5 years of age was 72 deaths per 1000 births for the richest 20% while the rate for the poorest 20% was 94 deaths per 1000 births. Maternal mortality was 522.2 deaths per 100,000 births in the rural areas and 443.5 deaths per 100,000 births in urban areas.

The workshop ended with a question and answer session between the invited journalists and a panel made up of some staff of the UNDP, Dr Osei-Assibey and Dr Grace Bediako.

Below are a few tweets from Inform Ghana’s coverage of the event.

 

 

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