The Executive Chairman of Jospong Group of Companies (JGC), Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong, has stated that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has allowed the private sector to innovatively use local resources to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) – including nose masks, hand sanitisers – to help contain spread of the virus.
He explained that this became feasible because of the “boldness” of President Nana Akufo-Addo to initiate a public private partnership that embarked on a massive disinfection exercise across the country.
Dr. Siaw Agyepong made the observation while delivering an address at the opening of the 73rd Annual New Year School and Conference (ANYSC) on Tuesday, January 25, 2022.
This year’s New Year’s School, which is being held at the Great Hall of the University of Ghana, is on the theme ‘COVID-19 and Socioeconomic Dynamics in Ghana’.
Despite the devastating effects of COVID-19, he said local resources have come in handy for the production of elements which are assisting the fight against COVID-19 in the country.
“With onset of the pandemic and in the wake of air, land and sea border closures, Ghana came out with what he termed home-grown measures to contain spread of the pandemic,” Dr. Siaw Agyepong noted.
He recounted that a total of 45 waste treatment plants across the country comprising 16 solid waste treatment plants, 16 liquid waste treatment plants and 13 medical waste plants are currently undergoing construction.
Dr. Siaw Agyepong thus entreated Ghanaians to actively get involved in reviving the economy to be back on track.
According to him, the national disinfection exercise saw the disinfection of about 2,500 markets across the country within two days – adding that it has also offered employment to some 2,500 people.
“…Over 77,000 schools, churches and mosques benefitted from the nationwide disinfection operation, which has helped in curbing spread of the virus,” he further said.
The Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Mrs. Mary Chinery-Hesse who was Chairperson for the opening, was upbeat that government’s ‘Obaatanpa’ programme will seek to boost socioeconomic development amid the pandemic.
She explained that New Year School event provided a unique platform to birth ideas for national development – stressing that it (the New Year School) has continued to birth themes which have set the tone for worthy consideration, particularly in the times that country finds itself.
She gave assurance that the annual event will go beyond the normal rhetoric, and continue to bridge the gap between academia and industry
Meanwhile, Dr. Siaw Agyepong has been appointed as a member of the University of Ghana’s (ANYSC) Advisory Team.