Professor Kwesi Botchwey, the Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), has encouraged political parties to integrate Ghana’s 40-year Development Plan into their manifestoes.
This, he said, would not only ensure a shared national development vision for the transformation of the economy, but would also provide the public with a transparent basis for measuring the performance of every government.
Prof. Botchwey was addressing briefing senior media practitioners in Accra on the progress made by the NDPC with regards to the Long-Term National Development Plan for Ghana, which spans 2018 to 2057.
He said the Commission was preparing an indicative plan which would mean that Government would not only lead in setting broad or indicative goals, targets and indicators for national development, but also ensure that the implementation would be the responsibility of the state, the private sector and civil society.
This means that it would not also be a centralised plan where the state would be responsible for everything, which include needed investments, but would be flexible over time and the responsibility would be everybody’s.
According to Prof. Botchway, although the plan would not tie the hands of political parties, it would make their work easier by creating a level playing field for all parties, whether in power or not, in the preparation of their manifestoes.
The plan, he said, would also provide the continuity needed for long-term national development and the flexibility of governmental change through elections, as well as force political party manifestoes to take a long-term view of national development that were beyond the electoral cycle, without losing their relevance.
Prof. Botchwey said the innovative approach of blending continuity and change in an evolving democratic environment had been applauded by the African Union (AU) and political observers both at home and abroad.
He said the Plan would be binding on all successive governments as the Constitution Review Commission had requested that it should be approved by Parliament and incorporated into the 1992 Constitution.
In addition to the goals and targets of the Plan, Prof. Botchwey said it would also be in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and the AU’s 50-year Development Framework Agenda which ends in 2063.
He said the Long-Term Development Plan was divided into 10 medium-term plans of four years duration starting from 2018 to 2057 when Ghana would celebrate her 100th independence anniversary.
Prof. Botchwey said the process would give every generation and government the opportunity to contribute to the transformation of the country in stages, as the 10-year-medium-term plans would also overlap 10 elections during the period.
This will allow each political party one year to prepare its manifesto in line with the vision and goals of the Long-Term Plan.
Dr Nii Moi Thompson, the Director-General of NDPC, who made a presentation on the Plan, said there had been a successful stakeholder engagement with institutions including academia, the private sector, youth and civil society organisations across the country to solicit their inputs.
He appealed for a massive public support, without which the achievement of the various policies and programmes outlined in the plan would be a mirage.