The Executive Director of African Centre for Poverty Alleviation Strategy (ACPAS), Prince Kumi-Koranteng, has launched the think-tank to tackle poverty in the country.
Speaking during the launch at UDS Guest House in Accra, Mr Kumi-Koranteng explained that ACPAS researches, advocates and implements poverty alleviation strategies to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially the Goal One, which is to end poverty in all forms everywhere -zero poverty by the year 2030.
He disclosed that on September 20, 2020, the ACPAS was born, coming from a thought that came out of his mind during the year 2020 COVID lockdown.
“While at home, and from the news media, I was awakened to the realization that there are many people in Ghana that live from hand to mouth, and that without stepping out of their homes to hustle, they cannot afford to live for long,” he stated.
Mr Kumi-Koranteng said some of such people genuinely lack the required skill and education that they could leverage on for a sustainable employment.
He added that others have talents and some raw skills which they sell to cater for their livelihood, yet they lack the financial, managerial and, sometimes, the marketing skills to sustain their livelihood from the income they generate from their small, mostly informal businesses.
“Not many people are financially literate enough to practice at least the 10: 10:80 or the 20:80 ratio of savings to expenditure culture. How many of our poor rural folks could do online marketing even though some own phones?
“How many of the extremely poor, many of whom are said to be in agriculture and informal small businesses, could exploit the Agric value chain to take advantage of the various uses of cassava and maize for instance,” he said.
He explained that ACPAS gathers and publishes data to expose the poverty related issues at different locations and communities. He added that “it organizes training workshops on book-keeping, savings, investments, and other modern business practices. to ensure that the businesses of the poor become successful”.
“ACPAS arranges avenues and modern platforms for the poor to market their products and skills. Identifying low-cost technology that is appropriate for specific contexts, to support the business operations of the poor. Identifying brilliant, skillful or talented; but needy learners from rural basic schools for support. Setting up Learners in Poverty Alleviation (LIPA), and Students in Poverty Alleviation (SIPA) clubs in schools to motivate the young to begin poverty alleviation activities,” he said.
In accomplishing such diverse activities, he said ACPAS had assembled multi-disciplinary, and multi-sectorial professionals, ranging from academia, entrepreneurship, to the media.
“Our think-thank is well endowed with, economists, financial analysts, marketers and entrepreneurs; together with biological and food scientists, statisticians, engineers, and journalists,” he stated.
The ACPAS Executive Director further called on all organizations and individuals who are interested in achieving zero extreme poverty as envisaged by the SDG one, to join and support ACPAS to achieve its objectives.