Dr William Godfred Cantah, Lecturer, Department of Economics, University of Cape Coast, has called on government to invest in local educational institutions steer them towards demand-driven skills to meet the needs of industry.
He said investment in the sector required more deliberate emphasis on the human skills which would make the graduates competitive in the world of market for sustained economic growth.
Dr Cantah made the call in Accra during a presentation on a research dubbed, “Assessment of the Ghanaian Economy (2012-2020)”, supported by Oxfam and organized by the Economic Governance Platform.
The assessment was done on the basis of the various goals and targets of government and its agencies.
He said there was the need to develop real expertise on skills for employability by investing in deep, sustained conversations with employers, and other workforce experts about critical skills and how to translate them from education to career.
A recent survey of employers by Gallup and Strada Education Network found that three-quarters of hiring managers see little connection between the institution someone attended and their job performance.
The Lecturer called for the need to bridge the gap between faculty and employers by creating the time and structures to incentivize faculty members to engage substantively with employers, and the workforce experts.
He recommended to government to support the establishment of participatory and cooperative mechanisms to enhance income and job security in the informal sector.
Dr Cantah said the general assessment of the country’s economy indicated that, the period from 2012 -2020 had witnessed consistent growth and improvements in key sectors of the economy.
The progress, he stressed, had rather been slow and inadequate to push the country into an upper middle income country.
On employment and unemployment rate, he said the high growth performance of the economy over the last eight years had not resulted in the reductiion of rates of employment.
He said the rate of job creation seem to lag behind economic growth rate by some 3.3 per cent over the same period.
“At just 2.8 per cent, the average annual pace of employment growth was deemed to be inadequate for the creation of ample jobs opportunities, especially for the youth, ”he said.
He said the inability of the growth to generate employment had been attributed to slow growth of the economy between 2014-2016, inadequate financing schemes for Small and Medium Enterprises and slow growth of overall labour demand and limited absorption capacity of the economy.
On monetary and financial policies over the last eight years, Dr Cantah said the country’s monetary policy had been underpinned by inflation targeting regime, with the focus of achieving price stability.
He stated that the effectiveness of monetary policy largely depended on the level of financial development, stressing the period saw the implementation of the Financial Sector Strategic Plan which the aim to develop the financial sector.
Mr Vitus Azeem, former Executive Director, Ghana Integrity Initiative, called on government to invest and expand agriculture for increased local food security and export and as well improve the livelihoods of farmers.
He urged government to address revenue leakages in the public purse and expressed concern about situation where some Ghanaians received double allowances of being a Director of an organization and Board member of different institution.
Some of the participants have called on government to enact law to compel the informal sectors to pay tax, since most of them do not.