The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) says the country’s 40-year development plan could not be binding on successive governments because it did not receive authorisation for it to be carried out.
“Ghana does not have a 40-year development plan. There was a draft but it was not passed by the previous administration before they left office neither has the present government approved it,” Chairman of the Commission, Professor Stephen Adei stated at a media briefing in Accra yesterday to launch a monthly forum on national development issues.
According to him, the immensity of the 450-page long term development agenda could be a reason for the general apathy in following through the document, giving indication however, that, the Commission moving forward intends infusing aspects of the plan into the country’s medium term national frameworks.
“We at the NDPC find the document to be very solid in terms of research however we think that how it was presented was too voluminous and people were not interested in looking at it.
We are building upon it and repackaging it within the Ghana at 100 agenda to make it much friendly to the public, highlighting what we want to achieve as a nation and expect from the politicians for sustained growth,” he said.
To this end, Prof. Adei pointed out that the Commission would soon begin publishing a national development monitoring index to assess activities of government and its agencies in line with reflecting national interest.
Highlighting on the rationale of the monthly forum, the Chairman noted that the move had become expedient to rally Ghanaians around a common national development agenda such that the nation’s resources were put into judicious use for collective benefit.
“We have reached a point as a developing country where national discourse on our development aspirations must be devoid of politics and sensationalism but rather rally Ghanaians to be part of constructive discussions on our collective destiny.
Without broad-based national ownership of the development agenda that cuts across partisan divisions and furthers the supreme interest of the nation, it would be difficult to achieve sustained development over a long-term period,” he held.
The former rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) mentioned that the forum would among others focus on topical national issues bordering on the economy, social development, spatial planning, infrastructure development, environment and governance.
It will also ensure continuous engagement with the public while sharing information on development issues, build consensus on broad national priorities, manage expectations regarding Ghana’s development to generate feedback for policy formulation and engender “a hopeful and active populace.”
The NDPC, Prof. Adei divulged, had programmed eight sessions of such dialogues from May to December this year, with the maiden one expected to come off on Wednesday, May 29 on the topic, “Ghana@100: An agenda towards a solidly developed nation.”
Ghana’s 40-year National Development Plan (2018-2057) launched in 2015 provides a framework for national development in line with the NDPC’s mandate enshrined in articles 85, 86 and 87 of the 1992 Constitution.
The plan, borne out of recommendations of the Constitution Review Commission of 2010 was supposed to be binding on successive governments devoid of political affiliations.
However, there has been a lot of skepticism over the success of the plan among other short to medium term plans as political parties tend to focus on party manifestos mostly crafted outside of the national agenda to score political points.
By Abigail Annoh