Senior Partner at KPMG Ghana, Anthony Sarpong, has said that it is essential for a national development plan devoid of political manifesto influence to be drafted with the interest of all political parties in order to accelerate economic growth post COVID-19.
Speaking at this year’s Ghana Economic Forum organised by the Business and Financial Times in Accra on Monday, Mr. Sarpong said the country should adopt medium- to long-term development strategies similar to what it did in the past for sustained economic growth.
“Our history indeed shows us that for each period when we have been guided by a unified plan we achieved more. Sir Guggisberg’s 10-year plan in the 1920s, President Nkrumah’s seven-year plan and Dr. Busia’s District Development plan are worthy examples to guide us on our way,” he said.
Mr. Sarpong further stated that with the advent of COVID-19, skills training for the workforce has changed tremendously, as many people are required to adopt new ways and technology to achieve efficiency; hence, it offers a new opportunity for the teeming unemployed youth – but that can only be realised if government invests in developing a new crop of human capital that can survive the ‘new normal’ and make their skills relevant no matter where they find themselves.
“ICT adoption and skills development are very relevant for us as a country. We need to produce a highly skilled workforce that meets the standard of this fourth industrial revolution – the rise of machines. We also know that employers and investors have in some sectors of this economy consistently cited a skilled workforce as the key challenge.
‘Our people are the real precious resources we have to harness in this fourth industrial revolution; and we must ensure we use education to give them the required skills backed up with the appropriate technology to churn out well-developed human capital that can work harmoniously with the rise of machines.
‘Any nation that does not protect the character and conduct of its people with positive values that are normally handed over from generation to generation is bound to decline and fail.
“Therefore, in consonance with article 39 of our constitution which enjoins us to ensure that relevant values are inculcated in our people through formal and informal education, I believe this is an area that if we look into the long-term we must establish a set of common values we will inculcate in the people’s development through the educational system,” he said.