Ghana should not be counted among poor nations – Orgainsed Labour

Ghana should not be counted among poor nations – Orgainsed Labour

Organised Labour has painted what it says is the unacceptable reality of the majority of Ghanaian workers today and wants President Akukfo-Addo to lead in restoring the country to its glorious self.


Labour says because of a high probability of destitution for the aged, it is becoming a curse to grow old in the country blessed with so much resources, with too many workers receiving slave wages and yet working under dangerous and inhumane conditions, while good healthcare and affordable housing are simply out of the reach of most.

Even clear case health conditions needing expert attention are careered off health institutions in favour of uncertified but affordable unorthodox practices, and all these point to the fact that as a country, we have mismanaged our economy and resources. 

Addressing the 2017 May Day national parade in Accra, held on the theme “Ghana @60: Mobilizing for Ghana’s Future through the creation of Decent Jobs”, Dr. Yaw Baah, Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress on behalf of Organised Labour said life has now become something for many to endure because they lack the basic necessities to enjoy it. 

“Ghanaians in some parts of our country still share water from guinea worm infested ponds with their cattle, their sheep, their goats, their chicken, their pigs and dogs. A significant number of Ghanaians sleep in the streets because they have no homes to go at night after a hard day’s work.”

He said out of frustration, some youth try to reach Europe through dangerous routes where many of them meet their deaths.

“As a nation, we have done quite well in nurturing our democracy to this point, where we have managed to conduct seven general elections peacefully. At least we have kept ourselves together as a nation and in peace. In spite of our challenges we are still a model of democracy in Africa, but the bitter truth is that we have failed in economic management.”

He listed a number of socio-economic challenges facing the country as proof of this failure – 

  • Joblessness among the youth remains the greatest challenge facing Ghana in spite of her numerous wealth
  • After 60 years of independence, a significant number of Ghanaians cannot afford housing and education for their children
  • Many Ghanaians cannot afford health care, relying on unorthodox medication even when there is a clear need to consult a doctor
  • It is becoming a curse to grow old in Ghana because we are unable to care of the elderly in our society
  • Our compatriots with disability have to beg on the streets of Accra and other cities to survive
  • Dr. Yaw Baah said communities feel insecure because of armed robberies and the fact that the police would not respond to emergency calls partly because they are understaffed and lack required logistics for protecting the citizenry
  • Prisoners live in sub-human conditions 
  • Our roads are comparable to war zones where many die daily
  • Too many pregnant women are dying as a result of the lack of care, with many other Ghanaians dying out of conditions that could have been managed if there was access to health care in their communities
  • Many children go to bed on empty stomachs while many die before their fifth birthday
  • A large number of children work under hazardous conditions to support themselves and their families
  • Girls and boys are being trafficked within and across our borders

He said this sad situation should not be the lot of Ghanaians.

“Clearly, we chose a certain path that has landed us here. This is not where Ghana should be given our massive natural resources. Ghana has no reason to be counted among poor countries. What happened to the billions of dollars we received from our gold, our diamond, our manganese, bauxite, timber and cocoa in the last 60 years? What happened to the billions of Ghana cedis we generated from taxes? What happened to the billions of dollars we have received from donors? What happened to the billions of dollars we received from external and domestic flows?”

He said many are Ghanaians who have lost hope of the future and no longer knowing what to expect of the future, however it is never too late to develop and to chart another path as we now have another opportunity to steer clear of poverty, hopelessness and vulnerability, “a path that will lead us to a great future full of hope and prosperity for ourselves, our children and our children’s children.

“Mr. President, we are counting on you to lead us into this future. We in organized labour will like to pledge our support for you and your government, together with businesses, in the true spirit of tripartism and social partnership, guided by the principles of mutual respect. We can achieve faster growth and create decent jobs for Ghanaians. We believe that you can lead us out of poverty and restore hope to all Ghanaians.”


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