The Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFDO) is pushing for half of the government’s 30 percent local content policy to be reserved for businesses owned by its members.
The GFDO said the consideration will empower Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) who are mostly prejudiced and discriminated against, whenever they have had to compete with able-bodied persons for the same job opportunities.
The government is in the process of passing a legislation which will see at least 70% of all government contracts going to local entities.
Out of the total, about 30 percent of the contracts will be set aside for businesses owned by women, PWDs and those established under the Youth Enterprise Fund (YEF).
The primary objective of this policy is to strengthen women, PWDs, and the youth to develop their businesses and make them competitive in the socio-economic development of the country.
But contributing to the drafting of the policy document, the GFDO said PWDs need to be given special preference because they “lack the requisite empowerment to favourably compete among the youth and women.”
“Our proposal is based on the backdrop that unlike in the case of women and the youth, policies have been enacted and implemented to ensure their empowerment to compete favourably for opportunities in the country,” the Federation said.
The Federation is also urging strict compliance with the policy document when it is accepted by the government. The policy is geared towards making PWDs economically independent.
“We have observed that policies made to favour persons with disabilities in the past have not effectively been adhered to. Specific provisions should be made for the application of sanctions for the entities that are likely not to adhere to the disability,” it insisted.
L-R: Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo and Minister of State in charge of Procurement, Sarah Adwoa Safo
Addressing a stakeholder engagement organised under the Office of the President, Minister of State in charge of Procurement, Sarah Adwoa Safo reiterated President Nana Akufo-Addo's determination to protecting the public purse.
She said the president's readiness to ensure a judicious use of state funds informed the local content policy which she indicated will reduce considerably, infractions of the procurement laws.
“Ghana can really go beyond aid if we adopt and implement the right systems...to check the wanton abuse of the procurement process,” stated the Deputy Majority Leader who is also the Member of Parliament for Dome/Kwabenya Constituency.
The Board Chair of Public Procurement Authority (PPA) Prof. Douglas Boateng was hopeful the policy will yield a remarkable success even if 10% of the targeted 30% is achieved.
“Women are the key; if we empower women our society will change...We just have to change our mindset,” Prof. Boateng stressed.