The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, has advised policy makers in Africa to promote good governance and accountability in order to reap the economic benefits of the demographic dividend.
According to him, countries that want to move towards medium and long-term development goals must also pay attention to investments in education, health, economic reforms and job creation.
Mr Osei-Owusu made the statement at the opening of the 10th Global Diplomacy Lab Incubator (GDL) in Accra.
The conference, which started on June 16 and ends today, is on the theme: “Global Power: Political and Economic inclusion for the next generation – Collaborating to realise the potential of the demographic dividend”.
The conference, which was organised under the auspices of the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany and the African Parliamentarians Against Corruption (APNAC), is being attended by participants from Ghana, Benin, Zimbabwe and Germany.
The objective of the conference is to investigate the potential of realising the demographic dividend in Africa and examine how new formats for international collaboration can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) more effectively.
The specific goal is to experiment with new approaches which can enable States to work collaboratively to realise collective goals on the topic of population dynamics.
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Mr Osei-Owusu also stated that despite the high-level interest and efforts undertaken, poor governance continued in most parts of the continent, including the loss of public funds meant to benefit citizens.
He said the weak accountability mechanisms and poor coordination of management across various levels of government continued to pose a challenge to African countries.
He said the tools for improving governance at both the continental and country level were in place, and stressed the need for lawmakers and anti-corruption campaigners to put their heads together to ensure expert dividend.
Mr Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah, the Member of Parliament for Ho West, for his part stated that the conference would offer participants the opportunity to learn and share experiences to enhance population management on the continent.
He said the meeting would provide participants the chance to discuss the population in Africa and how to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mr Firmin K. Adjahossou, the Head of the Accra Incubator Lab, said all the policies being articulated at the conference could not be done in isolation but in partnership with various actors at the local and international level. - GNA