The University of Ghana Business School, UGBS, has held another session of the COVID, Business and Society Seminar. The event that took place on Thursday, 13th August 2020, hosted Mr. (Hon) Mohammed Adjei Sowah, the Mayor of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, and Professor Frank L. K. Ohemeng, an Associate Professor at the Concordia University. Professor Justice Nyigmah Bawole presided over the session.
Mr. Sowah, who spoke on the theme “COVID-19 and the Informal Economy in Accra,” began by giving a brief overview of Accra. This was followed by an overview of the informal sector in the city, and he then elaborated on the impact of COVID-19 on the city, with major effects being the economic downturn, the increase in transport fares, as well as the increase in waste generation in residential areas.
He stressed that more attention should be paid to the informal sector, especially in the wake of COVID-19, citing the deepening of the inequality gap as one major reason. He added that interventions and institutional arrangements, like the Public Health Emergency Response Committee, have been designed to tackle the issues brought on by the pandemic. He then outlined his plan to put the city on the path to sustainable recovery.
Professor Frank L. K. Ohemeng, on his part, spoke on “Bringing the State Back in: COVID-19 and the Administrative State.” He began his presentation by giving a synopsis on the role of the state in society. He stated that when the public bureaucracy is efficient, responses to situations, like the pandemic, are rapid. He advanced his belief that certain responses could have been administered faster than it had been.
He mentioned that nations such as France, Italy, Canada, and Japan have been able to properly address pandemic situations through efficient bureaucracy and administration. He then provided a guide on how public administrations could be more efficient. He ended his presentation by urging public administrators to strive to create better response systems to address situations like this in the near future.
The event ended with an interactive Question and Answer sessions for both speakers.
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