The Institute of Statistical, Social, and Economic Research (ISSER) on Tuesday, launched Ghana Social Development Outlook (GSDO) 2018 report, to assess the country’s progress towards the meeting its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Professor Samuel Agyei-Mensah, the Provost of the College of Humanities, University of Ghana, in an address, said it was an evidence-based research and analysis, and provided the much needed context for assessing Ghana’s progress so far.
He said the report contained nine chapters, with different topics on the social development of the country, explaining that the current edition was unique in the sense that it had a chapter for Gender Equality, which was a major objective for the Sustainable Development Goal.
The various topics included; that on Education, Health, Water and Sanitation, Housing, Employment, Energy, Corruption, and Gender Equality.
Dr Elizabeth A. Asante, the Coordinator, Social Development Outlook 2018, ISSER, who presented the GSDO, said the report was the fourth in the series of publications after the maiden edition in 2012.
She explained that the chapter on education provided an important overview of the country’s development policy and the analysis of the implantation of this policy, as well as outlining the focus on quality, access and equity.
She said the chapter also provided important information on enrollment and attainment levels.
Dr Asante stated that the Health chapter, provided an update on the advances and challenges in the health sector, noting areas such as health care infrastructure, mental health care, maternal mortality, health and social development, analysis on skin disease assessment, to treatment and non-communicable diseases.
She said the key issues on water and sanitation raised in the document, included; how the government would make the country an open defecation-free, ensure access to potable water, as well as basic sanitation and hygiene, and highlighted on regional coverage of water sources and the impact of ‘galamsey’ on water bodies.
The chapter on housing on the other hand raised concerns about the growing slums and homelessness across cities in the country, and the efforts made by the government to put up affordable houses using local building materials, she said.
Dr Asante said the document also raised the issue of employment, low productivity and self-employment as a major concern.
On effective implementation of Ghana’s energy policy that seeks to address the various challenges with regards to supply, demand and consumptions he said there was a major improvement on the load shedding system to boost the performance of industries.
She said the government was working hard to address the widespread corruption in public and social sectors of the economy to ensure good governance, and has also initiated various activities and programmes to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change, by curbing activities such as ‘galamsey’ (illegal mining) operations that led to the destruction of forest reserves and water bodies.
The document also highlighted on some of the progress made in the area of promoting gender equality, citing the Affirmative Action Bill which was currently before Parliament, and the headway towards addressing the ghastly experiences of the ‘kayayei’-female head porters, with regards to their education, health and housing needs.
Prof. Takyiwaa Manuh, a Former Director of the Institute of African Studies, UG, congratulated the University, for its persistence in knowledge production.