25.06.2006 General News

74% of people in the 3 northern regions are poor

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Accra, June 24, GNA - Seventy-four per cent of people in the three northern regions are either poor or very poor as compared to about 58 per cent in other parts of the country, Dr Peter Quartey, a Research Fellow revealed on Friday.

About 38 per cent of residents of the three regions - Upper East, Upper West and Northern; spend over 15 minutes to access drinking water as compared to under 20 per cent of residents in the Greater Accra, Volta, Central, Eastern, Western, Brong Ahafo, and Ashanti Regions. Dr. Quartey, a Fellow of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) stated at the launch of World Bank Flagship Publication, "Case Approach to Project Implementation Cost Scheduling and Development Credit Administration".

The publication focuses on the nature of Africa time management and culture, underdevelopment and the time challenge in the 21st century. It also discusses product formation, development to its production, logical framework in designing project network, the scheduling and analysis of time input and cost activity.

Dr Quartey who was analysing the World Development Report 2006: Equity and Development said in Ghana economic and political inequality were associated with impaired institutional development. "This perpetuates inequality; weak institutions are due to unnecessary bureaucracy- sometimes due to conscious attempts to create power, wealth and subjugation in society."

He also expressed concern about the duration of registering a business in the country, which according to him, was unduly prolonged to show power of officialdom as well as create wealth for others. He called for concerted effort by Government and its social partners to develop policies to enhance the wealth creation potential of the poor, deepen democracy through effective participation of the masses especially in the District Assemblies.

The ISSER Research Fellow postulated: "equity promotes growth and development while inequity hampers economic progress...inequity creates institutions which perpetuate power, and economic status." He therefore, called for the broadening of civic participation in governance, promotion of resources for wealth creation for the achievement of accelerated social-economic growth.

Dr Quartey mentioned that equity was complementary to the pursuit of long-term prosperity, adding that greater equity led to poverty reduction.

He said overlapping social, political, cultural, and economic inequality stifled mobility.

"Market failure and lack of good governance were reasons why complementarities arise". He said the distribution of opportunities determine the distribution of outcomes where as differences in access to education and health affect individual's capacity to engage in political, social and economic life.

A speech read for the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Mr Hackman Owusu Agyemang, acknowledged the research findings and noted that government had introduced policies for capacity building, private sector development and good governance in all sectors of the economy.

"Government is to make the planning and control of implementation open to all stakeholders such as employers, financiers, guarantors, contractors, technocrats and beneficiaries to purposefully aim towards transparency and accountability".

The Minister commended the World Bank for the publication and urged other financial institutions to input the economic development of the country through the publication of such insightful text.

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