School of Social Sciences’ 4th International Conference held

Accra- The School of Social Sciences at the University of Ghana on Wednesday commenced its 4th International Conference to find paths to hasten and sustain socio-economic growth in Africa.

This year’s two-day conference was on the theme: ‘Transformation for Accelerated and Sustainable Development in Africa’ brought together Social Scientists to share their findings to help expedite Africa’s socio-economic growth and catch up with global development trends and benefits from global integration.

Professor Charity S. Akotia, the Dean of the School of Social Sciences said the school had accepted 110 abstracts to be presented at its 4th International Conference from both international and local researchers.

She said while Sustainable Development Goals emphasised the need for economic development, that alleviated extreme poverty, the goals would remain meaningless if drivers of socio-economic transformation were not critically examined.

She said In order for developing countries to catch up with global integration, there is the need to focus on socio-economic transformation.

Social Science is best placed to investigate new opportunities that could be explored and harnessed to enhance Africa’s prospects, she added.

Professor Elizabeth Asiedu, the President and Founder of the Association for the Advancement of African Women Economists in a research paper delivered on her behalf said it was necessary to involve women in decision making progress because women constituted majority of the continent’s population.

She said the involvement of women in decision making had the potential to accelerate Africa’s socio-economic growth rapidly.

She said there was the need to empower women to contribute to the growth of African’s economy through the equal access to education, political representation, access to financial services, labour market participation and asset ownership.

Professor Samuel Agyei-Mensah, the Provost at the Department of Geography and Resource Development of the University of Ghana said a careful assessment of the economies in Africa showed that besides agriculture, most economies are driven by natural resources and primary commodities.

He said the manufacturing sector remained young, thereby, limiting the potential employment gains from processing of primary commodities, rural sector highly under developed setting in motion migration to urban areas, which led to the creation of slums, birth and death rates remain relatively high.

He said Birth rates are of special interest given the late onset of the transition, slow pace and obstacles to fertility implementation, in effect, the growth is non-inclusive.

Professor Agyei-Mensah said that there was the need to transform the manufacturing sector to create wealth, reduce poverty, minimise inequalities and create more jobs in Africa.

He attributed the lack of transformation in Africa to internal and external factors like, colonialism and post-independence and also structural adjustment, adding that, structure of the global system had made it practically impossible for underdeveloped countries to benefit from globalisation.

Professor Agyei-Mensah, countries like Brazil, China, India and South Korea had shown examples of multiple paths to economic transformation; therefore, African countries also had what it took to transform their economies.

Professor Patrick Ayeh-Kumi who represented the Vice Chancellor of the University said attempts to achieve economic growth and development were faced with challenges, which included the quantum of the economic growth rate, its capacity for ensuring development, and the sustainability of the entire process of economic growth and development.

He said the conference had attracted various papers that addressed the numerous dimensions of economic growth and development from multidisciplinary and extensive perspectives.

He said the conference had attracted key Development Partners, such as the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme clearly underscored the shared vision of an accelerated and sustainable socio-economic transformation of Africa.

The Conference was used to award some members of the School of Social Sciences who had distinguished themselves in their services rendered to the progress of the school.

Source: Ghana News Agency