‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ unsustainable if… EKGS Director
Government’s mantra to build a Ghana Beyond Aid has been hailed as a desirable approach to self-sufficiency. However, a broader taxable population than currently exists in the country is required for its successful implementation.
The director of the EKGS Culinary Institute in Accra, Madam Efua Goode Obeng Kyei who underscored the relevance of the nation building principle, cautioned that it has always been “a dangerous proposition to hinge one's welfare and development on others, especially in a global world where economic and financial systems crumble like a pack of cards in the twinkle of the eye”.
“What this policy means is that we should look within to find the means and the resources to develop our dear country ourselves, instead of looking up to others and depending on their largesse and generosity to develop.”
Madam Efua Goode Obeng Kyei who was speaking at the 39th graduation ceremony of the institute during which 100 trainees, including foreign nationals graduated with certificates in Cake Making and Decorating with sugar arts, Pastry arts, Cookery arts, and Floral Décor, therefore invited government to throw its job creation searchlight on the culinary sector to get more youths trained in self-employable skills.
The event was on the theme: Ghana Beyond Aid: The Role of the Culinary Industry.
Madam Efua Goode Obeng Kyei maintained that for Ghana to become fully self-reliant, it must get many of its citizens into gainful employment to enable them pay taxes and promptly too, to provide a ready and steady source of funds for national development.
“The current dispensation, in which only a small percentage of people pay taxes regularly, cannot sustain the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda, I dare say.”
She stressed that there is a stark correlation between unemployment and poverty, as an unemployed person has very limited means of fending for himself, let alone for dependents.
“Meanwhile, a society in which poverty permeates cannot take care of the underprivileged and the vulnerable, as the means to provide safety nets for such people is not there. On the other hand, a prosperous society has enough surplus to cater for the needy. This scenario makes it imperative for us, as a country to fight the scourges of poverty and unemployment and/or under employment with every arsenal at our disposal, so that we are able to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs] which have set 2030 as target for alleviating poverty.
“In my considered opinion, Nana Chairman, the Culinary sector has the potential to lead us to Canaan as far as alleviating poverty and unemployment is concerned. The sector has the capacity and capability to train and equip as many people as possible with the requisite skills for them to become useful citizens of our dear country. In this way they can now afford the basic necessities of life, provide for their dependents and pay taxes to the central and local governments. These are ripple effects that come with getting people trained in the culinary sector, not to talk about the fact that people trained in the sector do not look up to the governments to provide them with jobs, since about 95 percent of them set up on their own and even train many more people.”
She implored government to extend flexible credits to practitioners in the sector and to waive taxes on the tools to encourage more interests.