The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) has started the process of developing a long-term national development plan that will serve as the country’s vision for 2057.
The framework, which incorporates the sectoral targets outlined in the existing 40-year development plan, will serve as a guide for political parties to align their manifestos to ensure continuity in development policies to sustain the country’s development trajectory.
The document will also provide innovative mechanisms to address global development challenges, particularly climate change and economic crisis.
The framework is being developed to give real meaning to the Directive Principle of State Policy that requires governments to continue the projects of their predecessors.
Specifically, Article 35(7) of the 1992 Constitution states: “As far as practicable, a government shall continue and execute projects and programmes commenced by the previous governments.”
As part of the process to have an all-inclusive framework, the NDPC convened a two-day national development summit to collate the views of key stakeholders and explore pathways that would ensure that the long-term vision is robust enough to stand the test of time.
Present at the summit were the Chairman of the NDPC, Prof. George Gyan-Baffour; the Paramount Chief of Asante Asokore, Nana Susubiribi Krobea Asante; the Director-General of NDPC, Dr Kodjo Esseim Mensah-Abrampah; and representatives from civil society organisations (CSOs), international development agencies, state institutions, and professional forums.
Within the two days, the experts will be discussing the content of the new vision within six thematic areas – social development; economic development; implementation, coordination, monitoring and evaluation; governance; natural and built environment as well as emergency and resilience.
Development vision key
Prof. Gyan-Baffour said the need for long-term vision for national development was germain, especially against the backdrop of internal and external shocks that militated against sustainable development.
“People may say why are doing this now, but my view is that better late than none,” he stressed, underscoring the need for all stakeholders to support the development of the long-term framework.
He noted that the framework would be crafted in a comprehensive manner to stand the test of time, withstand regime changes, incorporate technology, and guide policy formulation across regimes.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour added that the existence of a long-term development plan would help to accelerate sustainable development since it would help to cure the situation whereby political parties formed governments and operated on their own policies only for it to be abandoned when there was a regime change.
Prof. Asante said the efforts being made to develop a long-term development vision for the country was a step in the right direction but added that it must be done in a non-partisan manner.
“Failure to execute a long-term development plan is summed up by the following mathematical formula: the numerical implications of effective long-term planning are not congruent with the dictates and exigencies of partisan politics,” he said.
He stressed that “a holistic, inclusive approach” to the phenomenon of development was compelling while “a partisan, myopic approach governed by short-term interests” was untenable.
For his part, Dr Mensah-Abrampah said the long-term vision for development would highlight key area, especially the addition of value to the country’s natural resources.
He said value addition to natural resources must be anchored on robust industrialisation to promote job creation and economic development.