The President indicated that we must, as a nation avoid it at all cost if we wish to live to our fullest potential as a people with a common destiny.
He said this at a ceremony to launch the preparation of a long-term national development plan for Ghana for the period of 40years [2018-2057].
“What we are starting here today is a journey we have shy away from for many years while admiring the great strides made over the same period by countries such as Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, china and Brazil to name but a few,” he noted.
From them, President Mahama added that we can learn that, while short and medium term plans are important for managing the national economy they play their transformative role in national development only when they are situated within the context of a long-term plan.
According to him, the plan must capture the aspirations of the people and prepare for any challenges that may stand in the way of achieving those aspirations.
He posited that as we draw inspiration from the development history of these nations, “let me be quick to add that one cannot and must not necessarily compare in a one to one function the ingredients which include among others the geopolitics that culminated in the development of these nations.”
President Mahama added that together, today, we are taking a clear and collective decision not to repeat the mistakes of our pasts.
“With the launch of this process we commit to taking a critical look back to our record of national development drawing important lessons from our achievements and our challenges alike,” he stated.
He said it is a process that should afford us with the opportunity to have honest and open discussions of our aspirations as a people and what we need to do to realize these aspirations.
The President noted that as a nation we have prepared and implemented various development initiatives over many years across many governments
“Our national development agendas have often reflected short term development priorities that tended to change from one regime to another without the consistency and coercion that provides stability and sustainability of results,” President Mahama indicated.
The Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission [NDPC], Prof. Kwesi Botchway backed similar calls that it is easy to fall into a feeling of hopelessness and cynicism, a feeling that perhaps there is something wrong with the Ghanaian.
According to Prof. Botchway, in comparing ourselves with countries that were at our level of development at independent and have done so much better than we have, – Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Botswana, Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, Jamaica, Tunisia, Morocco it is easy to fall into such temptations.
“We heard views from some who felt that it was impossible to successfully implement a long term plan in Ghana without a new Ghanaian being born,” he stated.
He added that there were others who felt that a long term plan can never survive the vicissitudes of political transitions.
Prof. Kwesi Botchway noted that we cannot and must not as a nation succumb to the cynicism of those who say we are doomed to failure and those on the other hand who believe that the very idea of a long term plan is incompatible with a multi-party political system.
He indicated, on the contrary, that we as a nation must be inspired by the patriotism and sense of purpose that fired our forebears and enable them to forge the legacy that we inherited, and, as Ephram Amoo exhorts us, build on it.
The National Development planning Commission [NDPC] will begin the regional consultations involving cross-sections of Ghanaian society (including MPs and party reps) on August 12, 2015.
Followed by a technical consultations involving academic and research institutions; think tanks; professional associations; national and sub-regional officials; faith-based organisations, etc.
Written inputs from Parliament, Judiciary, the Presidency; Inputs from Ghanaians all over the world through the internet (form has been prepared and ready.)
The Plan will be publicly validated and submitted to Parliament for approval in accordance with Act 815.