A one-day regional consultation to solicit ideas and inputs into the 40-year development plan for the nation has been held in Accra.
It was the last in the series of regional consultations for the long-term national development agenda.
Among the participants were political parties, students, civil society organisations, non- governmental organisations, the general public and other identifiable groups, including market women, associations for the disabled, the regional house of chiefs, among others.
Prominent among the areas identified by the participants, for special attention as the development plan goes through its final formulation stages, are education, health, housing, transportation, infrastructure development, agriculture, sanitation and energy.
The national development plan was launched in August, this year, in a bid to fast track the country’s development drive.
The idea of the plan was born out of the recommendations of the Constitution Review Commission of 2010.
The plan, which is expected to span between 2018 and 2058, has been segmented into 10 four-year medium-term development plans to guide successive governments in achieving the development target.
Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), the agency spearheading the 40-year plan, said the plan was crucial to the development of the country to meet the needs of its citizens.
“The future we want and desire as a people is not guaranteed, but we can work towards it and it is a collective responsibility”, he stated.
He said the problems facing the country today, in all the sectors of the economy, were due to the inability of successive governments to plan.
Dr. Thompson said it remained a mystery to many countries why Ghana’s growth has been stunted though the country could boast of all the ingredients that promoted development, including human resource.
Comparing Ghana’s development to South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore soon after independence, Dr. Thompson said the country had a better development rate compared to those countries, and said it was still possible to catch up with them.
He said in order to tie all governments to the plan, a legislation was being worked on to ensure it was legally binding on them, adding that the progress of the plan would be reviewed every four years to monitor the implementation of the development agenda.
The Chairman of the Commission, Professor Kwesi Botchwey, on his part, expressed optimism that the targets of the development plan would be achieved as a result of the interest shown by the Ghanaian people in the plan in their regional consultations.
By Julius Yao Petetsi