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Involve political parties in development planning – Kufuor

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Former President Kufour (middle) in a group photograph.
Former President Kufuor (middle) in a group photograph.

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has said political parties should be involved in national development planning to ensure inclusiveness.

President Kufuor has, therefore urged the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) to involve the various political parties and their flagbearers in the formulation of the new Long-Term National Development Policy Framework.

He said the consultations would help make a policy that would ensure a laudable programme for the nation’s socio-economic development and promote an all-inclusive commitment by the parties.

He stated: “I don’t think you can tie the hands of any incoming leader in a multiparty system of government but it is necessary to use all the parties in national development planning. They are the active ingredients because when you talk of a sitting president, you also talk of the people who are challenging him,” former President Kufuor stated on Tuesday in Accra, when Dr Nii Moi Thompson, the Director-General of the NDPC paid a courtesy call on him.

The visit was to formally invite the former President to the launch of the Commission’s forum on the new Long-Term National Development Policy Framework on Tuesday, August 4, in Accra.

The launch will mark the beginning of the process for gathering ideas on the Long Term National Development Planning Policy Framework from across the length and breadth of the country.

Among the stakeholders that will be taking part in the forum are professional and faith-based organisations, political parties and Members of Parliament.

Former President Kufuor observed that flagbearers might come in with varied manifestoes, ideologies and philosophies, that it was very necessary that the NDPC sought their views as active participants.

He said in a very fast changing world the Commission should take into account the digital age, spatial development, and the inter-connectivity of the world in its planning.

He asked the Commission to also take into account the ECOWAS Common Custom Union and the Trans-Regional Highway and Railways.

Former President Kufuor urged the Commission to take up the issue of urbanisation very seriously so that slum communities like Sodom and Gomorrah would be avoided; adding that there was the need for a critical look at the sanitary systems in the country.

He appealed to the Commission to ensure that national planning also involved both the public and the private sector; since the private sector was the engine of growth of the economy.

Dr Thompson gave an overview of the Long-Term National Development Planning Policy Framework to the former President, and said the policy which spanned over a-40 year period would take effect from 2018 to 2057, when Ghana would be 100 years.

He said the NDPC after going through broad national consultations on a range of issues had decided to come out with the Long-Term National Development Planning Policy Framework that would be binding on all governments without necessarily tying their hands but rather serve as a guide to successive governments.

Dr Esther Ofei-Aboagye, Vice Chairperson of the NDPC, gave the assurance that the Commission would take up the issue of engaging flagbearers and political parties very seriously in the formulation of the Policy Framework.

She said the Commission would invest some energy into seeking the views of some senior high school students about the country on what they envisaged for themselves in future.

The Commission earlier on met former President Jerry John Rawlings behind closed doors on a similar mission.

The NDPC is a body created by article 86 and 87 of the 1992 Constitution. It was established by Acts 479 and 480 with the mandate to advise the President on development planning policy and strategy.

It makes proposals for the development of multi-year rolling plans, taking into consideration the resource potential and comparative advantage of the different districts of Ghana.

Source: GNA

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