The World Bank (WB)'s Chief Economist for Africa Francisco H.G. Ferreira on Tuesday urged the Ghanaian government to promote growth by focusing on the poor and vulnerable in the society.
Ferreira observed that the growth that took place in rural areas in Ghana where most of the poor lived was ineffective in reducing poverty.
Ferreira was addressing a day's workshop organized here by the bank on the theme "Inequality, Growth and Poverty Reduction in Ghana."
"In Africa, most of the growth has not been coming from areas and sectors where the poor are," he noted.
He emphasized that the inequalities created had dire consequences and urged Ghana and other African countries to pursue programs and policies aimed at addressing such gaps.
He therefore called for sustained growth to fight against poverty reduction on the African continent, urging strong macro- economic discipline and fiscal prudence to reduce vulnerability.
Ferreira also called for the need to build better and physical capital and promote growth in areas and sectors where the poor were located.
Santiago Herrera, Lead Economist for the WB, emphasized that future growth of the West African country would come from the diversification of the economy as it could not solely rely on proceeds from oil and gas resources.
He also urged the Ghanaian government to use resources wisely, cut down wastage, and eliminate corruption in the system.
Herrera commended Ghana for making giant strides in its democratic credentials, saying: "Ghana has a vibrant civil society in making government accountable."
World Bank Country Director for Ghana Yusupha Crookes commended the country for putting in place a lot of subsidies but noted the challenge had been with identifying the target group who actually needed such assistance.
"Social intervention programs are poorly targeted and inefficient and that there is the need to put in place a common framework to target the right people," Crookes said.
The Ghana School Feeding Program (GSFP) and the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Programs, Crookes observed, were good but called for an expansion as well as identifying those who really needed such interventions.
The day's workshop had representatives from government, the WB, donor partners and civil society groups in the country.