The ILO Productivity Ecosystems for Decent Work project inaugurates Project Advisory Committee in Ghana

On 14 September 2022, the ILO Productivity Ecosystems for Decent Work project inaugurated the Project Advisory Committee to serve as a steering committee and guide the implementation of project activities in Ghana.

Article | 30 September 2022
The ILO Productivity Ecosystems systems Project Advisory Committee gather in Accra, Ghana 14.09.2022 systems for Decent Work project is currently in its implementation "inception" phase thus the relevant structures are being put in place to help it run successfully over the long term. The inauguration of the Project Advisory Committee (PAC) therefore is an important event on the project calendar. The PAC was established to provide essential advisory support for project implementation and to ensure that interventions are aligned with project objectives and priorities of the Government of Ghana and development partners.

The ILO Productivity Ecosystems Project Advisory Committee gather in Accra, Ghana 14.09.2022

The PAC members are representatives of public and private organisations with the relevant mandate, programmes and policies for the project. They are the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR), Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI), Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Management Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI), Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Ghana Employers Association (GEA), Representatives of SMEs, Representatives of Implementation Partners, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and International Labour Organisation (ILO).

In his opening remarks, Mr. David Marcos, Project Manager of the Productivity Ecosystems for Decent Work in Ghana welcomed all participants on behalf of the Country Director for ILO, Ms Vanessa Phala. He specifically thanked the Deputy Minister of Labour, the representative of the Minister of Trade and Industry, representatives of our social partners, agencies and other key stakeholders for their interest in supporting the project. He also thanked the development partners, SECO and NORAD, for their generous support to this global programme. He stated that in 2021, the ILO began the Productivity Ecosystems for Decent Work Programme which is currently being implemented in three countries: Ghana, Viet Nam and South Africa with the objective to promote productivity growth and decent work, combining different approaches that strengthen productivity drivers across policy, sector and enterprise levels. He stated that the purpose of the meeting was to inaugurate the PAC which shall provide high-level leadership for the project and ensured alignment with objectives and development priorities of the Government of Ghana. In addition, members would have the opportunity to contribute to the process of selecting 2-3 value chains for project implementation.

Ms Anne Schick, the Deputy Head of Cooperation, Swiss Embassy in Ghana expressed that SECO was happy to be part of this development cooperation with the Government of Ghana and the ILO which aimed to improve development of the private sector. She added that as part of its development cooperation, SECO currently had several programs designed to support the Ghanaian government to promote economic development. She believed that the success of this project would be ensured through the engagement of all stakeholders and regular exchange, channelling efforts towards project goals. She concluded by wishing the PAC a fruitful deliberation.

NORAD was represented by Frederick Pappoe, Senior Adviser at the Norwegian Embassy. He expressed that NORAD was upbeat and active in supporting issues related to enterprise development and labour productivity and emphasised that the project was being rolled out at an opportune time. He acknowledged that the project was building on earlier initiatives by the ILO which also supported by NORAD. He added that the role of the PAC would be extremely relevant, particularly in the selection process of sectors for project implementation and achieving the highest impact. He pledged the continuous support of NORAD to this development cooperation.

The Hon. Deputy Minister, Bright Wireko Brobbey, welcomed all participants on behalf of the Hon. Minister . He noted that as a Ministry responsible for ensuring productivity and decent work outcomes, the Ministry welcomes the initiative by the ILO which is geared towards accelerating economic transformation in the country. He added that issues of productivity and decent work outcomes have dominated national discourse in recent times, and as a result, critical investments have been made by both the public and private sectors to achieve higher levels of productivity in the economy. He commended the ILO, SECO, NORAD and other partners for the diverse roles they played in the design of the project. He further indicated that he was hopeful that it would contribute to addressing the constraints to productivity growth and decent job creation. He suggested that it should be done through a combination of different approaches that strengthened the drivers of productivity across macro (national/policy), meso (sectoral) and micro (enterprise) levels of the economy. In conclusion, he expressed his confidence in the PAC members of the committee to carry out their mandate, by bringing their expertise to addressing these challenges. On behalf of the Minister of Labour, the PAC of the Productivity Ecosystems for Decent Work project was declared fully inaugurated.

Hon. Deputy Minister, Bright Wireko Brobbey Deputy Minister for MELR addressing the Project Advisory Committee

Mr. Onoma Asiedu, the National Project Officer delivered a presentation on the project overview. The presentation covered the subjects of productivity, productivity constraints, growth rates and trends, expected project outputs and outcomes for the inception phase in Ghana. Then Mr. Kwame Fredua, on behalf of the Lyceum Consulting Group Limited took participants through the sector selection report. He stated that the team was tasked by the ILO to explore various economic subsectors in Ghana and make recommendations for consideration and project implementation. It was explained that 16 subsectors in Ghana were selected through interactions and engagements with relevant stakeholders. Out of this, 6 sectors and subsectors were short-listed for further analysis towards selecting 2-3. He noted that out of the 6 sectors to be presented, the PAC was to agree on 2-3 subsectors of which the project was to undertake. The 6 shortlisted subsectors are cashew, shea, oil palm, construction, textile and apparel, and renewable energy.

The ILO Productivity Ecosystems for Decent Work is a global multi-country programme initiated by the ILO in 2021, with operations in Ghana, South Africa and Viet Nam. It is funded by the Governments of Switzerland and Norway, and seeks to promote productivity growth for decent work, combining different approaches that strengthen productivity drivers across policy, sector and enterprise levels. The programme is in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8.2, which encourages member states to pursue “higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading, and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors”. As a project in Ghana, the focus will be on SMEs and their workers in sectors that show the potential for productivity growth and job creation.