This Week in Parliament [17-20 October, 2017]

Highlights of what MPs discussed from 17-20 October, 2017

  • International Day for the eradication of Poverty

Poverty appears to be endemic in rural areas especially in Northern Ghana. More than 4/10 Ghanaians are poor in the Upper East Region. A resource-rich country like Ghana cannot accept the current poverty trends. According to Richard Mawuli Quarshigah (MP, Keta), phase I and II of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy demonstrates national commitment to poverty eradication and this commitment, is evinced in the Ghana Living Standards Survey (6), which shows that poverty has dropped drastically, from 51% in 1991 to 24.2%.

“Poverty should not be measured by economic and social status of people (alone)”, says Boniface Saddique (MP, Madina). Access to public goods such as good drinking water is also important, he added.

Andrew Dari Chiwitey (MP, Sawla-Tuna Kalba) also added that poverty can be eradicated through continuous implementation of government social programs, especially in his constituency.

Speaking to the same issue, Okyere Darko-Mensah (MP, Takoradi) argued that until Ghana moves away from raw material exports to industrialization and make social programs inclusive “poverty will continue in the North of Ghana” and “other coastal areas of the country.”

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa (MP, North Tongu) sees poverty as a threat to Ghana’s democracy. “It’s clear that we have a lot of work to be done, we must take a radical stance against poverty. An affirmative action needs to be taken. It’s clear that the poverty gap is rather being widened – rich getting richer. We must consider special incentives for investors to go into rural areas for youths to get jobs”, he said.

  • MPs charged to promote proper handwashing

Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Joseph Kofi Adda (MP, Navrongo Central) encouraged colleague MPs to promote a culture of proper handwashing in their respective constituencies. The Minister made this remark during a statement to mark global handwashing day.

  • President Alhassane Ouattara in Ghana

Substantive Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, and Aviation were part of cabinet delegation that received Mr Alhassane Ouattara, President of Ivory Coast, who paid a visit to the country in the aftermath of ITLOS ruling. Due to their absence, questions to their respective ministries were unanswered.

Their absence did not sit well with Minority Chief Whip Muntaka Mohammed-Mubarak (MP, Asawase) who argued that both Ministers have deputies who could have been summoned to answer questions in their stead.

  • Reports and Bills laid before Parliament

The annual report of the Forestry Commission was laid before Parliament. Additionally, the report on Office of the Special Prosecutor Bill (2017) was also laid and distributed to all MPs.

The Middle Belt Development Authority Bill (2017) which is at its consideration stage was laid for possible corrections to be made by MPs.

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©2017 This Week In Parliament