The Chinese Embassy in Ghana has embarked on an initiative of sharing with Ghanaians China’s Targeted Poverty Alleviation Model which lifted 800 million Chinese from extreme poverty.
The initiative formed part of the Asian country’s strategy to deepen collaboration with African countries to promote sustainable development and improve the standards of living of citizens across the continent.
Speaking at a conference on the theme, “Piloting China’s Targeted Poverty Alleviation Model in West Africa under Chinese Pace to Modernisation,” Mr. LU Kun said his country’s vision of poverty alleviation had enjoyed more attention from the international community.
“China has been sharing the experience of poverty alleviation with the world and contributing to global endeavour in this regard,” he said.
He observed that poverty alleviation was a process rather than an event that required constant monitoring and re-strategizing when necessary to ensure that standards of living did not drop.
“After eradicating household poverty, China has been conducting follow-up and monitoring in areas where people have nearly escaped poverty and has set a grace period during which other support policies would continue,” he said.
Mr. Yang Qun, President of the Ghana Chinese Enterprise Chamber of Commerce, said the country’s Poverty Alleviation Model was not a one-size-fits-all as it would require countries to make adaptations to suit their culture, institutions, and ideology.
Mr Dan Botwe, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, said decentralisation through the local government structures was key in ensuring that any poverty alleviation intervention became successful.
“No matter the policy, we can best achieve when we go by what the constitution and other laws have suggested, using the Government architecture and make sure that we pursue decentralisation,” he said.
He called for a retrospection to analyse the approach and impact of non-government organisations (NGOs) and government interventions in alleviating poverty in the country.
“What is poverty and when we say we have eradicated poverty, what do we mean and what is the manifestation?” He queried.
Professor Zhang Yongpeng of the China-Africa Institute explained that China’s model of poverty alleviation was based on precision in identifying vulnerable households to guide the design of accurate interventions and the management of procedures.
The model, he noted, worked better when national resources for poverty alleviation were pooled and targeted towards the concept.
Professor Alexander Bilson Darku, Senior Scholar, Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Ghana, said Ghana could serve as a role model to other West African countries if challenges with effective targeting and funding innovations were addressed.
He also highlighted the huge disparities in access to poverty programmes between the Northern part and Southern parts of the country as a bottleneck that needed attention.
In attendance at the conference jointly organised by the IEA Ghana and the Chinese Embassy, were Justice Emile Short, Former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Former Chief Justice Sophia A.B. Akuffo and the former Speaker of Parliament, Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye, among others.