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Developing our human resource: It must be immediate and intentional

BY: Daily Graphic

human resource development has been with man since the very beginning of his earthly journey, with training in its most simple form being found among our most primitive ancestors.

The development of early man was hinged on learning how to make simple tools, purely for obtaining the necessities of life for self and family.

The phenomenal benefits of human resource development to the ancient Greeks and the Romans have well been chronicled. They created the needed institutions to carry out their political and social agenda.

Many lessons have been learnt from history, and today nations that are bent on being competitive have invested heavily in their people, the dividends of which are there for all to see.

Their well-equipped and skilled human resource has consequently contributed to individual, organisational and national development through improved performance.

It is a fact that quality human resource correlates directly with economic development.

Singapore, a country that was at the same level of economic development as Ghana in the 1960s, has used its quality and developed human resource to the greatest advantage, and makes it to the top five on the competitiveness list every year. Its GDP per capita is over $65,200, while Ghana’s is around just $2,202.

Frankly, countries that have invested heavily in their human resource are high up on the development index. The Daily Graphic is of the strongest conviction that it is not late for Ghana and encourages the populace to have hope and not give up.

We are doing some things right — the introduction of the free senior high school policy in 2017 was a bold and right attempt at addressing the human resource challenges to put us on economic growth, while the recent revamping and restructuring of our technical and vocational education sector couldn’t have waited any longer.

The Daily Graphic wants to draw the attention of the authorities to the fact that developing quality human resource does not come easy. It needs huge investment and very stringent measurement and evaluation to be able to get it right. Duty bearers and technocrats must thus acknowledge the mistakes and the challenges along the line and address them head-on.

We know they are capable of the responsibility entrusted in their care. For instance, it is critical that our policies consciously strengthen the process to augment the skills, education and productive abilities of our people at all levels — children, the youth and the working class.

It is through this that we can increase and accumulate the quality of human capital that is very much needed to make us competitive. The world is running at a terrific speed in terms of knowledge and skills and whichever nation that relaxes will find itself lost. South Korea is producing vehicles and machinery en masse, while China is soaring high in every aspect of science and technology.

But it is a pity that even at the basic level of applying research and development to manufacturing, we seem to lag. How can it be explained that doors, windows and other building accessories are manufactured in other countries and shipped into Ghana? Furniture is better crafted and finished in our countries too. We need no one to tell us the strain under which our artisans work, simply because foreign labour is cheaper, and they do a more beautiful work.

In many respects, people putting up houses prefer artisans from Togo to those in Ghana.

We must sit up as a nation and realise that the quality and adaptability of the labour force is a key driver in creating a favourable environment for both domestic and foreign enterprises to grow through new investments and to adapt quickly to the changing 21st century world.

The message from the Paramount Chief of the Agogo Traditional Area, Nana Akuoko Sarpong, a couple of days ago that we must invest in human resource development must be heeded with all the seriousness and urgency it requires.