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Business News of Friday, 5 April 2019


Economist urges African governments to provide infrastructure for agriculture development

Mr Charles Abugre, a Development Economist, has urged African governments to provide the needed infrastructure for agriculture development as part of efforts to accelerate socio-economic transformation.

He noted that despite the fact that the various governments recognised agriculture as the basis of building an economy, the sector still faced numerous challenges, particularly infrastructure, hence the need to focus on that to increase productivity.

Mr Abugre said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the Fifth School of Social Sciences International Conference in Accra.

The two-day conference, which is being hosted by the School of Social Sciences of the University of Ghana (UG), is on the theme: “Africa on the Move: Harnessing Socio-Economic and Environmental Resources for Sustainable Transformation”.

It would highlight 12 sessions including Health Care Provision; Leadership, Governance and Politics; Contemporary Issues in Uganda; Financial Inclusion and Financial Sector Development; and Agricultural and Natural Resource Development.

The rest are, Labour Market Issues and Economic Welfare; Work Behaviour and Attitudes; Health Issues in West Africa; Climate Change and Development in Africa; Security and Social Vulnerabilities; Emerging Issues in Sustainability; and Social Issues.

Mr Abugre, who is a former Chief Executive Officer of the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority, noted that every government had recognised the need to industrialise, hence the need to improve the manufacturing sector to create jobs.

He said lots of economies in Africa were depending only on either natural resources or agriculture but the truth was that most of those countries were not doing well in agriculture due to lack of infrastructure.

Professor Samuel Agyei-Mensah, the Provost, College of Humanities, UG, who chaired the occasion, said Africa had undergone different ideological and policy experiments in an attempt to move forward.

He said in many of those instances, external players imposed measures on African countries with voracious interests in their natural resources and the quest for domination.

Prof. Charity S. Akotia, the Dean, School of Social Sciences, UG, described the conference as a well-established tradition in the School of Sciences, and was devoted to showcasing research to enhance socio-economic, cultural, psychological, political, and environmental transformation.

“What directions should these transformations take to provide decent jobs and broad-based participation of all citizens, and what paradigms of development should underpin Africa’s renewed engagement with global capitalism?”, she asked.

Prof Akotia said those were among questions that would be answered during the two-day conference.

“With the School’s vision of becoming a world-class research-intensive School in the next decade, I believe this is in the right direction,” she sai