Understand the plight of your former colonies- Oquaye to British

Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aron Mike Oquaye, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aron Mike Oquaye

“…You cannot develop your industrial and employment base without some protection measures but WTO arrangements compel African countries to open up and cheap goods are dumped upon them from other nations. Where will the youth get the employment?”

   Giving his keynote address at the opening ceremony of a three day Expert Regional Workshop by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (C.P.A.) UK which is aimed at elaborating on the roles of Parliamentary Committees in Combating Human Trafficking and Forced Labour, Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament Rt. Hon. Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye expressed concerns at the rate at which ‘cheap’ foreign goods are been dumped on the African Continent hence increasing the level of unemployment on the continent.

Rt. Hon. Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye stated that human trafficking and forced labour are globally recognized as one of the highest crimes against humanity and in modern times with diverse negative socio-economic, legal and health implications.

He stated that according to the Governance and Social Research Development Center (GSDRC) in its 2011 report, human trafficking and forced labour impacts negatively on the economy.

On the African Continent, the speaker of Parliament attributed human trafficking and forced labour to the high rate of unemployment especially with the youth.

 He attributed this to the fact that the World Trade Organization (WTO) does not pave way for African countries to have industries of their own, develop and employ the citizens. This he said has been a stumbling block for many, hence the increase of unemployment on the continent.

This he describes as worrying as it paves way for unwanted and inferior goods to find their way to the market space and compete with the quality local goods.

 He therefore in his capacity as the speaker of the fourth republic tasked the British government to understand the plight of their former colonies and advocate for partnership where the processing of raw materials from African continent will be maximized by the local people.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA) is a four-year multilateral project which involves parliamentarians from Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Namibia, Kenya, Turks and Caicos as well as the United Kingdom which aims to encourage and facilitate a greater understanding of the national and international benefits of strengthening human trafficking and forced labour policy and legislation and provide a forum for sharing good practice and experience.

Since the commencement of the project in October 2016, there have been engagements with Parliaments around the Commonwealth. Two regional workshops have been delivered in Uganda and London with success and both covered issues such as human trafficking, forced labour, commercial sexual exploitation and transparency in supply chains. 

By: Theresa Adezewa Aryeetey

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Joe Bright Nyarko Journalist/Communication Researcher. Environment & Sustainability Advocate. Managing Editor of aptnewsghana.com, a non-profit news portal with bias towards environment and sustainability issues, rural development policies and gender & inequality.