This year’s New Year’s School and Conference ended in Accra, with a call for government to introduce innovative ways to mobilize domestic revenue, while reducing unnecessary spending and waste in the public sector.
It was also urged to improve its data collection efforts to help target policies in the future, which will save the country’s resources to be used for important sectors.
This was contained in a statement issued last Wednesday at the end of the two-day conference held at the University of Ghana, Legon.
New Year’s School
The New Year’s School and Conference is an annual event that provides the forum where issues of national interest and concern are discussed under a larger theme, with sub-themes.
Organized by the School of Continuing and Distance Education, College of Education, University of Ghana, this year’s event (the 73rd edition), which took place over two days, was themed: “ COVID-19 and socio-economic dynamics in Ghana”.
Among the participants were representatives of trade unions, metropolitan, municipal and district general managers, media professionals, youth leaders, civil servants and civil servants, traditional leaders, civil society organizations and faith-based organizations. .
Health and Technology
According to the statement, the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ghana Health Service, shall identify emerging technologies, in emphasizing local content and innovation, and developing these to help meet the challenges of COVID-I9.
“The Ministry of Health should collaborate with relevant stakeholders in the health sector to provide continuous professional development in digital literacy and skills to health workers to enable them to effectively use these emerging technologies,” did he declare.
Digital infrastructure in education
On education, the statement says digital infrastructure must be provided and made accessible to all to address inequalities in education.
He added that the Ministry of Education could leverage public-private partnerships to improve the provision and affordability of internet, data, computing devices and learning management systems.
“Policy initiatives at state and institutional levels should address educational challenges in disadvantaged communities,” he said.
On agriculture, he noted that the government should revise its policy of reducing the reference value to exempt products that could be produced locally to improve the competitiveness of local manufacturers.
The government, he also said, should involve the private sector to provide warehouse infrastructure in rural areas to deal with post-harvest losses and improve the operations of the National Buffer Stock Company.
“The government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, should embark on an aggressive program of irrigation development to support its Planting for Food and Jobs initiative, paying greater attention to the savanna and temperate regions,” he suggested.
The statement also said that there should be a rescinding of the government’s directive to the Ghana Revenue Authority to collect property taxes at the local level.
“Property rates should be an integral part of the revenue mobilization efforts of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies,” he said, and called for a review of the distribution formula of the District Assemblies Common Fund to provide adequate funding to districts with few resources.
He also said the closure of the land border worsened security and resulted in the use of unauthorized entry points by West African nationals and their Ghanaian accomplices.
“The cost of doing business has increased for those at the lower rungs of the Ghanaian economic ladder,” he said, suggesting that the government should replicate existing COVID-19 protocols at airports down to the airports. land borders to facilitate the livelihoods of the marginalized. .
The government, he said, has devoted enormous resources to the economic, health and social betterment of the citizens; however, more was needed in the area of mental health.
“Therefore, the conference recommends the design of psychosocial programs on individual resilience against the COVID-19 pandemic as part of promoting peace for vulnerable groups in society,” he said.
The statement also advised that as a fiscal measure, the government should put in place a monetary policy regime that would encourage financial institutions to provide more credit facilities to the private sector at reduced interest rates.
The Dean of the School of Continuing and Distance Education, College of Education, University of Ghana, Professor Olivia Kwapong, in her closing remarks, explained that the New Year School model has changed for the better and so he had taken advantage of social media. , the written press and the electronic media to be able to broadcast its events.
This contributed to the successful holding of a hybrid system of virtual and in-person participant participation, she said.