40 Year National Dev’t Plan To Create Jobs For Youth

The Centre for Social Democracy, Ghana (CSD-Ghana) in collaboration with National Development Planning Commission (NDPC)and Fredrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a German Political Foundation has taken a judicious step by organizing a Public Lecture on the topic: ” A long Term National Development Plan for Ghana; Prospect and Challenges”

For several years now, Ghanaians have been debating the need for national development plan but without any action. It is in this regard that CSD-Ghana and NDPC collaborated to engage in further discourse on the matter.

The Director -General of National Development Planning Commission ( NDPC) Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, speaking during a lecture at the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) in Accra, underscored the need to adopt a long-term plan that all governments would be committed to in order to ensure continuity in the country’s development process.

According to him, in 2010, government set up the Constitution Review Commission to make recommendations for the amendment of the 1992 Constitution.

This said, Development planning was not part of the Commission’s original issue areas but such was the public’s passion for long-term planning that by the time the exercise was over, it commanded an entire chapter in the Commission’s report, titled, “From Political to a Developmental Constitution”.

Throwing more light on the nature of the 40-year National Development Plan, he noted that a long-term national development plan was a requirement of law as well as a popular request by the people of Ghana which emerged during the Constitution Review Exercise.

The public must be able to see how their cities and town would look in the future so that they can work towards it.

He added that the National Infrastructure Plan will constitute what may be called the “spine” of the long-term national development plan in terms of its sheer scale and transformative power.

If properly and faithfully executed, it will transform the infrastructure landscape of the country while creating jobs, especially for the youth over a 30-year period. Priority projects will include energy and railways.

Adequate energy will unleash the productive potential of the economy while a modern railway system will drastically cut the cost of doing business and better integrate national and regional economies.

He said that the process of preparing a long-term plan must necessarily be inclusive, involving not just the political parties that one day may govern and implement the Plan but also the general population, including civil society organizations and the business community which will also have a stake in the successful implementation of any plan.

The Managing Editor of the Weekly Insight, Mr Kwesi Pratt, stated unequivocally that whether the 40-year plan proposed by the NPDC would address the needs of Ghanaians, it must be related to the people.

This said, the issue was whether the plan would address the needs and aspirations of the ordinary Ghanaian.

He, therefore, disputed the suggestion that a law should be enacted to ensure compliance, describing it as stifling a constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression.

He also underscored the need for proper management of resources in the country in order to enhance national development.

The convener of the lecture, Mr Prosper Hoetu said that CSD-Ghana believes that the proposed plan if properly managed during implementation will save the country uncertainty of policy frameworks and also avoid the abuse of discretionary powers exercised by political parties when they are in government.

“CSD-Ghana supports the development and implementation of a Long Term National Development Plan partly because we believe that if the sovereignty of Ghana resides in the people of Ghana in whose interest and for whose welfare the powers of government are to be exercise, then the development of a long term national development plan puts the power in the citizens to shape their future and set priorities for leadership”, he emphasized.

CSD-Ghana was established two years ago with the aim of contributing to the development of Ghana through various activities, including public lectures.

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