The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director, Mr Dauda Toure yesterday presented a copy of the Ghana Human Development Report 2007 to the Minister for Information and National Orientation, Hon Oboshie Sai Cofie at the ministry in Accra.
The report which is in a book form is organised into six chapters, namely a framework for social exclusion, status of human development and social exclusion, social structure, systems and practices, social exclusion which has to deal with the economic dimension. Others are social exclusion thus the political and legal dimension.
The Country Director noted that inclusive society could be achieved if social inclusion was mainstreamed as a priority objective across all policy objectives and implementation.
These inclusions, he said, are tackling unemployment, modernising the social security system, improving access to basic services and eliminating discrimination.
He said institutional arrangements need to be strengthened for developing, delivering and monitoring policies to promote greater social inclusion.
He thought if university students are involved in the dissemination and the explanation of government policies the impact would be felt properly. Dauda Toure pleaded that communities themselves be involved in the decisions or policies formulation affecting their various areas.
'Most African country do not involved their communities in decisions making, these are some of the problems we face here in Africa,' he lamented.
He congratulated government for dealing with gender empowerment measure with key interest. 'For 2006 Ghana had a Gender-related Development Index (GDI) of 0.596 indicating that females were more excluded than males and that for every 100 males about 60 females have a level of development comparable to their male counter-parts,' The UNDP official said.
The Country Director observed Ghana's Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) of 0.374 indicating that for every 100 males only about 37 females have the same levels of empowerment in the three basic dimensions of empowerment namely, economic and political participation, decision making and power over economic resources.
He asked all to see government programme initiated as development programme and not play politics with it.
'The achievements of this country should not be destroyed by the up coming Parliamentary and Presidential elections in December,' he noted
Dauda Toure urged the Ministry of Information and National Orientation to use taxi cab drivers, local radio stations, Information Services Department's mobile cinema vans among others to disseminate government programmes and policies.
Mrs Oboshie Sai Cofie said the idea of social inclusion has gained momentum since world leaders at the Social Summit in Geneva in 2000 restated their commitment to social protection as a core issue in poverty alleviation. She added that the inclusiveness and the Gender Empowerment Measures should be looked again for the betterment of this nation.
She noted government's commitment to dealing with gender issues but said a lot need to be done.
The Minister stressed that her Ministry through the Information Services Department would continue to inform the public on the report. 'A team will be formed to collect feedback information on the report', she said.