Participants urge government to speed-up establishment of national development bank

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Participants at the end of the 71st Annual New Year School and Conference (ANYSC) have urged the Government to expedite action on the establishment of a national development bank.

The bank, they said, would provide financial support for private sector development and to increase investments in agricultural, non-agricultural and agro-processing industrialisation.

A communique issued at the end of the 71st ANYSC on the theme: “Attaining Ghana Beyond Aid, Prospects and Challenges,” urged the Bank of Ghana to strictly monitor the banking and financial industry to ensure strict adherence to regulations and good corporate governance practices.

It recommended that the Central Bank should look into the operations of the Credit Unions and bring them under their regulation.

The 71st edition of the ANYSC brought together 517 participants from the 16 regions of Ghana, the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs), public and private institutions and worker unions.

It also attracted 260 students from some selected senior high schools and tertiary institutions.

The three-day event, which was officially opened by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was organised by the School of Continuing and Distance Education, University of Ghana.

The closing ceremony was performed by Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs, University of Ghana.

The ANYSC, which was introduced in 1948, brings together people from all walks of life to deliberate on topical issues of national and international interest.

With regards to land, the Communique said the Land Tenure and Registration System should be reviewed and modernised to address the bottlenecks in land acquisition and registration for investment purposes.

It suggested that the Government should promote national self-sufficiency in agricultural productivity and reduce the country’s dependence on imported products through import substitution, industrialisation, and consumption of locally manufactured products.

It recommended that the ‘Buy Ghana, Wear Ghana and Eat Ghana campaign’ should be seriously promoted.

“To ensure the sustainability of the agricultural sector and to make it attractive to the youth, Government should empower and resource the law enforcement agencies to effectively deal with the problem of illegal mining and logging and the protection of water bodies,” it said.

“The laws governing cattle ranching should be strictly enforced to protect the farms and livelihoods of farmers in the affected areas.”

The Communique said to promote accountable governance for local economic development, the Special Prosecutors Office must be provided with adequate human and financial resources to enable it to become fully operational.

It said recommendations from the Auditor General’s Report should be fully implemented for greater transparency and accountability.

It said the Public Service must be restructured and effectively decentralised both in form and substance; adding that fiscal decentralisation must be implemented in order to promote local economic competitiveness and development.

The Government should set up a monitoring and evaluation office to assess and track the progress and attainment of the Ghana Beyond Aid (GhaBA’s) goals and targets.

The Communique said the monitoring and evaluation framework should be centred on the five components of the agenda; WISER (that is a Wealthy, Inclusive, Sustainable, Empowered and Resilient Ghana).

“From the youth perspective, the GhaBA agenda should not be the only focus of government. Government should concurrently drive a Ghana beyond Corruption, Ghana beyond Poverty and Ghana beyond Filth agenda.”

The participants called on the Government and other stakeholders to adopt the recommendations of the 71st ANYSC.

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