A two-day stakeholder consultation meeting aimed at developing a national Human Capital Development Strategy for the creative exploitation of natural resources is underway in Accra.
The national strategy will adopt a skills-based approach, with a focus on improving the value chain in the agricultural and natural resource sectors as well as the preparation of the workforce for future job market demands.
When finalised, the strategy would enhance the skills, knowledge, abilities and overall potential of the county’s workforce.
It would also assess current and future workforce needs, identify skill gaps and align human resources with organisational goals and objectives.
The development of the strategy is being coordinated by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) in partnership with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation- Economic Policy Competence Centre (FES- EPCC) Office in Ghana.v
A National Technical Working Group on Human Capital, made up of members from the public and private sectors, civil society organisations (CSOs) and think tanks has been constituted to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive strategy.
The stakeholder engagement workshop is part of the process to solicit inputs and create a participatory approach towards developing the strategy.
Participants in the workshop would discuss the importance of human capital development, strategies to achieve it, and its role in the socio-economic transformation of Ghana.
In a speech read on his behalf at the opening ceremony of the event held yesterday, the Director-General of the NDPC, Dr Kodjo E. Mensah-Abrampa, said although the country has a workforce with the needed educational qualifications, implementation of institutional structures was a challenge.
He, therefore, called for strategic investment in people to foster innovation and development.
He also called for the strengthening of educational institutions, vocational training centres, research, development in natural resource sectors, as well as fostering collaboration between industry and academia.
“It is crucial to ensure that these endeavours are conducted in a sustainable and responsible manner, taking into account environmental conservation and the well-being of local communities,” the NDPC Director General added.
Dr Mensah-Abrampa explained that the development of the strategy was aligned with the country’s commitment to socio-economic transformation.
Develop skill set at basic level
The Vice-Chancellor of Central University and Commissioner of NDPC, Professor Bill Buenar Puplampu, stressed the need to build skills, values and ethicality at the basic and secondary levels of education to build the human capital.
He also called for the standardisation of the structures, particularly at the basic level, in a way that irrespective of the location of schools, students would have equal resources needed for learning.
“Children trained presently would be the same people taking the jobs in five and 10 years’ time, so if we do not build up these skills in them now, we will have a problem in the future,” he said.
The Programmes Coordinator of FES- EPCC, Eunice Asiedu, said a regional project to understand the employment landscape in Africa had revealed why some policies were not contributing to employment creation in Africa.
She mentioned, among others, duplications in policies to promote employment creation and a mismatch of educational training and industrial requirements as some of the problems identified.
The project involved Rwanda, South Africa, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Benin and Ghana.
“In the face of alarming unemployment, increasing population growth in Africa, and mega trends such as climate change, it has become urgent to address the human capital needs on the African continent,” she noted.
She commended the NDPC for the initiative and expressed the hope that other African countries would emulate it.