• Prof. Emmanuel Bobobee says government must priotise social protection for citizens
• He was speaking at the launch of a new policy think tank and advocacy group
• Solidaire Ghana is a think tank founded on democratic principles
A Fellow of Solidaire Governance Forum, a newly formed think tank, has stated that there is no justification for the government to attribute its failure to ensure social protection for citizens to the inadequate source of financing.
Professor Emmanuel Bobobee speaking on the topic: The Relevance of Social Democracy in the Midst of COVID-19, at the official launch of Solidaire on Tuesday, September 21, 2021, noted that cushioning persons on the lowest part of the income bracket is a proposition founded on the principles of social democratic values.
According to him, current findings indicate that the effects of COVID-19 has brought to bare the relevance of social democratic policies and principles that promotes social security and social protection policies.
He stressed that the government of Ghana, as it is, has no reason to shy away from discussions bordering around social protection.
“Flowing from this, social dialogue to explore ways of providing social protection is very important in this regard, and all governments, including our Ghanaian government, must be compelled to sit at the table for this discussion. There is no excuse for government to use the usual mantra of “there is no money” to avoid a discussion on the nature of social protection badly needed by our countrymen and women. I am sure that we all admit that social protection is a human right and the need for it to be rolled out by our government is more critical now than before,” he stated.
He urged that governments and businesses on the African continent, must not see social protection as a cost but as an investment while asking the Finance Ministry and the Economic Management team to create a fiscal space to enable the government invest in the provision of social protection.
“Social protection cannot be put the lower part of the budget, after government has prioritized buying cars for ministers, CEOs, Board Chairmen, Directors and others.”
“Social protection cannot come after you have increased salaries for the President and those in Article 71. Social protection cannot find space in the budget after you have created new offices in government to overburden the consolidated fund.”
“Certainly, social protection cannot be a priority, when you annually make payment orders for the purchase of ammunitions for the security institutions to use to brutalise the very people who are in need of social protection,” he added.
Solidaire, a CSO founded on social democratic principles aims to become a key advocate for good policy formulation, fight against corruption and abuse of human rights while playing a watchdog role on governance in Ghana.
Speaking at the launch in Accra, the Executive Director of Solidaire Governance Forum, Benjamin Essuman said, “We are proud to identify ourselves as the home of social democracy. Solidaire Governance Forum is supposed to be the home for experts in business, in industry, in each sector of the economy, and in academia who identify themselves as social democrats.”
Expressing hope that Solidaire will offer relevant alternative opinions on governance and policy formulation, Mr Essuman revealed that the think tank will from next month roll out activities including a lecture series code-named “Agenda for Ghana” to kick start their operations.
Several accomplished individuals were unveiled as fellows of Solidiare Ghana which has brother of late President Atta Mills, Dr Cadman Atta Mills as its Honourary President.
The list of Solidaire Governance Forum fellows includes Dr Cadman Mills, Prof Nii Noi Dowuona, former PNC Running Mate, Mr Emmanuel Anyidoho and former Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Prof George K.T Oduro, an NDC member.
Others are Prof Emmanuel Bobobee of the CPP, Prof Raymond Atuguba of the PNC, Dr. Gamel Naseer of the (CPP) Dr. Grace Ayensu and Dr Nana Ama Browne Klutse, both of the NDC, among others.