PRESIDENT John Mahama has stressed the need to review the role Africa plays in the world production process and urged the developed economies to relocate some of their manufacturing plants on the continent.
He said Africa had for far too long and still, remained the producers of primary commodities to the developed economies, a situation that was creating unemployment and forcing the youth of the continent to migrate to Europe under perilous conditions in search of greener pastures.
President Mahama was addressing third interactive dialogue of the plenary high-level summit for the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in New York last Saturday.
The SDGs are the new set of global development objectives adopted by the United Nations (UN), which is a sequel to the Millennium Development Goals adopted in the September 2000, and rallied the world around a common 15-year agenda to tackle poverty.
The new 17 SDGs are part of the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development which aim at wiping out extreme poverty, fighting inequality and tackling climate change over the next 17 years.
In his address, President Mahama noted that the path to sustainable development for Ghana in particular and Africa, as whole, had been a difficult one.
That, he argued, was because the continent continued to remain the producers of primary commodities, while secondary and tertiary processing was done in the developed world and finished good back to the continent.
“If the teeming youth of Africa must find jobs at home and stop attempting to cross the Mediterranean to enter the greener pastures of Europe, then we must review the role Africa plays in world production. A significant portion of processing and value addition must relocate the continent,” President Mahama said.
He assured that Ghana would continue to aggressively and with dynamism implement the country’s development agenda within the framework of the SDGs in order to build a life of dignity that ensures no one was left behind.
Through the implementation of the Agenda for Transformation, developed by the National Development Commission, he said, the government aimed to diversify production and exports, be more competitive on international markets, increase productivity of all resource inputs and upgrade technologies in order to make the much anticipated leap out of poverty.
On energy, President Mahama said the country was currently implementing load shedding because the country’s current energy consumption exceeded supply.
He said the energy constraint remained a challenge to attaining the country’s development goals.
President Mahama said his government was implementing policies and projects to address the energy crisis.
“We have put in place a programme to introduce emergency generation into the transmission system, but are mindful to ensure that we use as much clean energy sources as possible to the benefit of our current and future generations,” he said.
On agriculture, he said, the green revolution had never really taken off in Africa, yet the continent had the greatest proportion of the world’s arable lands.
“With improved seeds, fertilizers, appropriate technology, and agricultural extension advice, we would not only increase agricultural productivity in Africa, but we would also provide jobs for the growing population of young people,” he said.
Touching on the SDGs, President Mahama described the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the most ambitious, transformational development ever attempted in the history of the UN, saying all the 17 goals should be seriously implemented.
“On behalf of the government and people of Ghana, I pledge our support and commitment to working towards achieving the SDGs and look forward to working with other regional and global partners to make them a reality,” President Mahama assured.
By Times Reporter