Pictures follow the story
……….As she interacts with representatives of the Ghanaian community
Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection has assured Ghanaians living in the United States that, Government remains committed towards the developmental goals of Ghana.Interacting with a cross section of the Ghanaian community in the Chicago Metropolitan area as part of her working visit, Nana Oye said the government will continue to make the right choices to consolidate gains made so far. “Ghana is rising. Yes we are! Ghana is transforming and lives are being changed. Like every other country, Ghana has its share of challenges. But we turn neither left nor right. We look within for strength”, she proudly said.Nana Oye continued “Ghana looks up to its sons and daughters, you and myself to make the difference. Equally, we look out for mutual partnerships and cooperation’s from you (Ghanaians in America) and our American brothers. We are stronger and bigger than all of our challenges and with united effort we will surmount them”.
The minister who spoke on various sectors of the Ghanaian economy, said in the area of sustainable development, Ghana is on a forward march, on the path of economic growth and sustainable development under the leadership of His Excellency John Dramani Mahama.“We are on a path that leaves no one behind. We are forging a society where dreams are possible! We are building an enabling environment that empowers every Ghanaian to realize their goals”.
Nana Oye said through good governance and sound policies, Ghana is reaping the impact of rapid development, adding that inclusive growth in the last twenty years has halve the poverty rate from 52.6% in 1991 to 21.4% as at 2012.
“Our remarkable achievements in poverty reduction have been made possible by diversifying our economy beyond agriculture while increasing access to education, health and electricity. We are also expanding our infrastructure and enhancing the business environment for both local and international investment”, she stated.
Touching on Social Protection, she said government remains committed to implementing policies aimed at cushioning the poor and vulnerable. “We have made remarkable gains in the gender equality and social protection sector. This has been achieved by strengthening the legal and policy framework, effectively mainstreaming gender concerns and child rights protection. We have launched a National Gender Policy and Social Protection Policy. A campaign on ending Child Marriages in Ghana has also been initiated”, she stated.
Nana Oye said social intervention schemes have been expanded to rope in more beneficiaries and new interventions have been introduced. Some of the various interventions introduced under social protection in Ghana include the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), free registration of the vulnerable onto the National Health Insurance Scheme and enrollment of elderly persons onto the Eban Welfare Card among others.
In the area of Education, the Gender Minister said great progress has been made towards increasing access to education at all levels. Enrolment rate in schools, she said has risen sharply, adding that the total number of educational institutions at all levels has risen from 45,447 in the 2008/09 academic year to 57,270 in the 2014 /15 academic year representing an increase of 11,823 (that is 26%).
In the area of Healthcare, Nana Oye pointed out that, the healthcare system has improved tremendously. She said the government has invested over US $2 billion in health infrastructure, equipment and human resource, adding the national health insurance scheme also provides affordable healthcare service to all.“Presently, there are two Teaching Hospitals, three Institutional Hospitals, four Regional Hospitals, fourteen District Hospitals, dozens of Polyclinics and Health Centers. There are hundreds of Community-based Health and Planning System compound projects nationwide”.
Touching on the Housing sector, she explained to the Ghanaian community that urgent interventions have been put in place to make available affordable housing units for Ghanaians. According to Nana Oye through both direct investments and collaboration with the private sector, government is currently on course to deliver over 12,500 housing units, which represents the biggest investment in the sector by any government.
On Transport, the gender minister noted that a reliable and affordable transport system forms part of the social safety net, enabling trade and employment opportunities in both urban and rural communities. Ghana’s total motorable road network, she said currently stands at 71,063 km.
Commenting on the recent power challenges, Nana Oye said government has resolved to add more generational capacity to meet increasing demand and make the challenge a thing of the past.
Nana Oye also touched on the strides made in the art and sciences, as well as tourism.