- In the last 27 years Ghana’s poverty rate has dropped by 23%.
- The poverty rate dropped by 25% between 1992 to 2005.
- However, the government did not do much between 2005 to 2017 to reduce poverty.
The Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), has revealed that Ghana’s poverty rate has dropped to 23% in the last 27 years.
Dr Kodjo Mensah-Abrampah said the poverty reduction strategy has yielded much results. He added that much progress was made between the periods of 1992 to 2005, where the rate of poverty dropped to 25%.
He added that Ghana, however, did not do much to reduce poverty between 2005 to 2017.
Dr Mensah-Abrampah was speaking in an interview at a workshop organized by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FOA) on Strengthening the Use of Poverty Analysis to Achieve SDGs 1 and 2.
Dr Mensah-Abrampah explained that between 1992 to 2005 the country focused on how to improve the living condition of the poor and investing in areas which are related to the poor such as agriculture, livestock development.
“This really provided the space for the long-neglected people to be able to put themselves up into the economy and also the development ladder. The other thing, which was also done, was the specific development agenda targeting poverty.”
He said that the Ghana Poverty Reduction 1, 2 are examples of the policies that were targeted at the poor.
“Am sure you know all those programs on Social Investment Fund, HIPC program, Youth in Agriculture and Women in Agriculture, these were the means to harness and also bring in the poor.”
He stated that the introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the School Feeding Program contributed to this development.
“It was a real conscious means of responding to poverty in a coordinated manner and this is very important and a big lesson for us. Those days NDPC was at the peak of coordinating all those processes that related to reducing poverty and working together with other ministries.”
Speaking on why Ghana could not do much after 2005, Dr Mensah-Abrampah said: “I think somewhere along the line the emphasis on poverty reduction lost the way and therefore the efforts where not that coordinated like the past when we made all those strides.”
He added that Ghana has learnt from its actions.
“We have a conscious effort to go back to that. The free SHS, for instance, is one of the means not only to bring people to complete basic education but to go beyond that to develop skills, knowledge and their ability even if education ended at that point they will be able to get employment.”
“There is also a conscious effort to make sure that poverty is not linked to the income-earning population but we look at the youth also. There is a whole study, which has been carried out by the NDPC and UNICEF to look at the issue of child poverty.”
“Children who are poor have to do with the matter of knowledge, education, and if children are denied the opportunity definitely they will grow up to be hampered adults and their exposure may be limited. So these are all the things we are looking at,” he said.