Ghana asked to leverage economic research for development

By Edward Dankwah 
Accra, Nov. 21, GNA – Mr Stefan Dercon, Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Oxford, says Ghana must leverage economic research for rapid socio-economic development. 
He said this at a conference organised by the Merian Institute for Advanced Studies (MIASA) and the University of Ghana (UG) on the theme: “Accelerating Africa’s economic transformation towards shared prosperity and sustainability”. 
The conference was in collaboration with the Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER), UG, the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. 
It was to provide space for exchange of ideas among researchers, policy makers, development practitioners and other stakeholders. 
Prof Dercon said the government must use economic advice from research economists across various disciplines to provide solutions to challenges facing the country. 
Mr Kevin Chika Urama, Senior Director of the African Development Institute at the African Development Bank Group, in a recorded video, said it was time Ghana  added value to its raw materials to reduce imports and create local opportunities for the youth. 
“We need to ensure that we have an industrial policy that allows Africa to produce the goods that we need. As Africans, we need to start consuming African products; buy the African clothes and reorient our tastes to the things we produce locally,” he stated. 
He said that would create jobs for the youth and open the continent up for rapid growth. 
Mr Urama said Ghana needed to invest in sustainable industrialisation and create policies to improve the business environment with prospects for economic growth and societal welfare. 
He said the country must use data from the Statistical Service to identify opportunities in the economic sector and use strategic approaches for businesses to capitalise on the opportunities presented through data. 
Mr Urama said that was the only way countries in the sub-region could transform their economies and improve the lots of the people. 
MIASA is an institute under the College of Humanities, University of Ghana, which aims at making African thinking increasingly relevant in academic debates. 
The Institute is jointly sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the University of Ghana.