June 03, 2023

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Bedu-Addo Laments Poor State Of Agric, Health In Ghana

Food security will elude Ghanaians if “we continue to use back-breaking techniques to farm”, Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank in charge of South and Southern Africa Region, Mr Kweku Bedu-Addo has warned.

The astute banker lamented the absence of the application of science and the appropriate use of extension officers in the country’s agricultural sector.

Mr Bedu-Addo was speaking at the sixth AngloGold Ashanti Lecture Series on Business in Africa in Accra last Thursday.

The lecture organised in collaboration with the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, on the topic ‘Africa Rising: Wheel of Fortune or Genuine Social Transformation’.

“We talk more than we do; we need to walk the talk and apply what we have learnt to benefit all and sundry,” Mr Bedu-Addo said.

Africa’s agriculture was still largely subsistence and underpinned by inefficient market arrangement affecting food security and nutrition, saying “agriculture must be productivity-driven to spur national development.”

He lamented over the fact that in Ghana and in most parts of West Africa, there was no balance sheet committed to agriculture, health and housing because the value chain was disjointed, with everything in a mess.

Mr Bedu-Addo called for stakeholder consultation on the need to invest in these sectors and address these value-chain challenges for national development.

The banker called for the introduction of social accounting metrics to hold governments liable for their actions and inactions.

“Public officials should be personally liable for breaches in conduct and must exhibit high standards of professionalism,” he said.

The accounting metrics must be strictly transparent and independently monitored to ensure that governments across the region take decisions to the benefits of the citizenry and create value for the next generation, he pointed out.

“The metrics must be able to measure the quality of education, health and other infrastructure development to ensure there is value for money,” he said.

According to him, he noted that a well-functioning economy relied on domestic investment, and there was the need to invest in quality education, health and transportation, which constituted key facilitators to the quality of life.

General Manager of mining giant, AngloGold Ashanti, Mr Eric Asubonteng said the lecture was to stimulate and raise national consciousness about the need to carry out the country’s affairs in ways that addressed peculiar needs.

He noted that it was incumbent on all to play an active role in the determination of the country’s natural resources to benefit the citizenry.

He said African countries had a rich blend of human and natural resources to take ownership of their own destinies, as well as deliver the transformation required on the continent.


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