The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) will, on Wednesday, May 29, hold a National Development Forum to engage the public on development policy and promote ownership and accountability for the implementation of national priorities.
The forum, on the theme: “Ghana@100: An Agenda Towards a Solidly Developed Nation,” would be the first in the series of monthly engagements that would share information, generate and gather citizens feedback around developmental issues to inform policies.
Announcing this at a press conference in Accra on Thursday, Professor Stephen Adei, the Chairman of the NDPC, said the series of fora would focus on topical national issues like the economy, social development; spatial planning; infrastructure development; environment; and governance.
He said Ghana had reached a point as a developing country where national discourse on development aspirations must be devoid of politics and sensationalism and rather rally Ghanaians to be part of constructive discussions around “our collective destiny”.
Prof. Adei said countries with significant success in development and growth were those that had had long-term development perspectives and pursued them with vigour and consistency.
Such countries included South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan, which in 1957 had a level of development comparable to that of Ghana at independence.
He, however, said Ghana’s experience in the implementation of development plans had been intermittent until around 2003, when the country sought to institutionalize its planning and implemented a succession of Medium–Term National Development Policy Frameworks.
The country is currently on the fifth one, which is dubbed: “An Agenda for Jobs: Creating Prosperity and Equal Opportunity for All”.
The fora, he said, would ensure continuous engagement with the public and build consensus around broad national aspirations and priorities, as well as manage expectation regarding Ghana’s development and engender a hopeful and active populace.
He said eight sessions of the fora had been programmed from this month to December, with the expectation of regular monthly dialogues next year.
Topics to be discussed in subsequent fora would include Human Capital Requirement for Development in Ghana; Attitudinal Change for National Development; Advancing a Gender-based Development Agenda; Food and Nutrition; The Future of Work-Wages, Productivity and Employment; and Sanitation and Pollution (Noise).
Other topics would be: Infrastructure and Development; Private Sector Development; Youth Development; Corruption and National Development; National Security; Climate Change: Impact, Risks and Vulnerability; Mobilising Financial Resources for Development: The State and Prospect of Development Financing in Ghana; and Tracking Ghana’s Progress Towards Attainment of the SDGs”.
Prof. Adei said the development forum had been instituted as part of the mandate of the NDPC, granted under the 1992 Constitution, to gather information around national development and advice the President on policy and strategy.
The outputs of the fora would be used as policy briefs and published in the “National Development Monitor” three times a year.
The outputs were also expected to guide the formulation of short-medium and long term proposals for development.
The Commission is currently working on a four-stage medium development plan out of the Drafted 40-Year Plan that was designed by the Commission some few years back.
He appealed to the media to assist the Commission to successfully organise the fora to help in informing, educating and providing platforms for public debate and discussions on national development.
This would also serve as a catalyst for citizen’s empowerment and invoke their participation in the process.
“We will require your support in these dialogues, giving the important role the media plays within our space. The media is powerful actor in the influencing paradigm shifts. The involvement of Ghanaians will spur collective action and support for national development,” he said.