The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) has initiated a monthly national development forum to engage the public on a development policy and build a concensus around national priorities and aspirations.
The forum will focus on the economy, social development, spatial planning, infrastructure development, the environment and governance.
The Chairman of the NDPC, Prof. Stephen Adei, who announced this at a meeting with the media in Accra said the non-partisan discourse would also help share information on development issues, manage expectations regarding Ghana’s development and engender a hopeful and actively engage the populace.
Eight sessions, he said, had been programmed for the rest of the year with the first forum slated for May 29, 2019 at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences on the topic: “Ghana @100: An agenda towards a solidly developed nation.”
Prof. Adei noted that although Ghana had made some considerable strides in its development agenda through its medium and long term development plans at national and sub-national levels, leading to its middle income status, the growth had neither translated into any appreciable change in the lives of many nor reduced inequalities in the country.
He said results from tracking the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) indicated that poverty had declined while inequalities had increased.
The country”s development , he added, had been uneven and plagued by discontinuities in implementation of development plans and policies when governments changed.
“Without broad-based national ownership of the development agenda that cuts across partisan divisions and furthers the supreme interest of the nation, it will be difficult to achieve sustained development over a long-term period.
There is the need to foster a collective sense of urgency and political commitment to meaningfully engage citizens around a common national development agenda, provide an ideal destination towards which the nation must work purposefully and mobilise citizens and financial resources on a scale that might otherwise not be possible.
We must seek unity in purpose and on principles and values that are consistent with the upper, middle and high income nations, “he said.
Prof. Adei said Ghana had reached a point as a developing country where national discourse on development aspirations must be devoid of politics and sensationalism but rather rally Ghanaians to be part of constructive discussions around the nation’s destiny.
It was for those reasons that the NDPC had initiated the monthly national development forum to engage the public on development policy.