UN Working Group praises Ghana’s economy

The United Nations (UN) Working Group on Business and Human Rights, noted that Ghana has reached an important stage in its’ economic development.

It said that Ghana‘s Gross Domestic Product growth projection of 8 per cent for 2013, has placed the country among the top 20 fastest-growing economies in the world.

At the end of its 10 day official working visit to Ghana on Wednesday, the United Nations Working Group issued its preliminary observations, stating that the economic expansion of Ghana was being driven by revenue from the extractive sectors as well as high commodity prices.

A statement signed by Madam Cynthia Prah, National Information Officer of the United Nations Information Centre, in Accra, and copied to Ghana News Agency, said United Nations Conference on Trade and Development ranked Ghana among the top three destinations in Africa for foreign direct investment.

It said there was a need to ensure that human rights standards were effectively integrated into institutions that seek to promote foreign investment and facilitate links to global markets, in new areas such as oil and traditional sectors.

The UN working group said bilateral trade and investment treaties should not constrain the Government of Ghana from evolving a regulatory framework to protect human rights, or ensure the progressive realization of economic and social rights.

The statement said that building effective institutions for the protection of rights should include ‘’ensuring effectiveness of the Government’s efforts to reduce corruption, particularly in entities that regulate, monitor and enforce business compliance with relevant norms and standards to protect rights.’’

The Working Group particularly encouraged that such efforts should focus on integrity of officers involved in law enforcement at the district or municipal level, and the judicial sector.

It said the commencement of oil production, now at more than 100,000 barrels per day, has contributed to Ghana’s rapid growth, adding that there was great expectation from the country and international community that the sector would continue to grow.

The statement said Ghana’s economy was highly reliant on small-scale operations in agriculture, especially cocoa exports, and on fishing.

It said: “special attention should be paid to child labour in informal agribusiness, health and safety standards in factories.’’

The statement called for respect for the legal minimum wage, the rights of workers to organise and bargain collectively and condemned discrimination against women, especially those of child-bearing age. GNA

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