Last week, the president launched a seven-year development plan that forms the basis for his government’s development planning. As a result, all metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) are required to develop their medium-term programmes in line with the overall agenda of the 7-year development plan.
This is a constitutional requirement that enjoins a president to present a coordinated programme of economic and social development policies to Parliament within two years of assuming office, and we can attest that the president has duly fulfilled Article 36 (5) of the 1992 constitution.
The president went on to state that he is the first president in the Fourth Republic to have fulfilled this constitutional provision in the time stipulated, and he should be commended for such. Minority Leader Haruna Iddrissu testified to this and commended the President accordingly.
Minister of Planning and Development, Professor George Gyan Baffour, stated that the document is unique in that it took cognisance of the UN SDGs as well as the African Union’s Agenda 2063. This is commendable because Ghana is signatory to both international agreements and aligning our own development plan with the SDGs and Agenda 2063 shows the commitment of government to ensuring the country travels with the international community in realising an inclusive development agenda that leaves no-one behind.
Thus, it is now left to the private sector, civil society and Ghanaians as a whole to own the document and ensure that the country travels in the right direction. As the president observed at the launch, the agenda for job-creation, prosperity and equal opportunity for all is on course and will propel the country to a ‘Ghana beyond Aid’.
Ghanaians voted for change when they elected the NPP to steer the reins of state; and they did that with the optimism that things would be better and hope restored. We believe government is on course to bringing about new hope, and this plan therefore gives a clear direction the country is to pursue in its development as well as guiding future budgets.
Thus, the onus will rest heavily on civil society to play its watchdog role effectively and ensure that the interventions to be implemented will benefit society as a whole. One inspiring aspect of the new plan is that more attention is to be paid to research and innovation to ensure that the country’s industrialisation drive is anchored on science and development.