Development initiatives and projects must not be truncated as a result of a change in government, the Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr Nii Moi Thompson, has said.
He said in order for the country to sustain its development drive, political parties vying for power must see development as a continuum, adding, “Very few projects can be started by one government and completed within four years.’’
“I hope we will grow out of our current political discourse, because when a government decides to carry out the programmes of the previous government, we hear all sorts of comments that they are copying other political parties’ policies. Governments are, therefore, sometimes reluctant to carry on what they inherited,” he stated.
Dr Thompson made the comments when he led a delegation from the NDPC to pay courtesy calls on the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the National Media Commission (NMC) at their respective head offices in Accra yesterday.
The visits were to apprise the two institutions of the various aspects of the proposed 40-year long-term national development plan and also discuss how the media could contribute to its successful implementation.
The 40-year long-term development plan, which will be put before Parliament by the end of this year, is expected to be implemented between 2018 and 2057.
It will be incorporated in the country’s Constitution and, therefore, will be binding on all governments.
However, it will not tie the hands of political parties but will create a common ground for all political parties, whether in power or not, in the preparation of their manifestos around a common national development agenda.
Addressing concerns that the 40-year period was too long, Dr Thompson said the plan would serve as a framework that would guide the preparation and implementation of 10 medium-term operational plans.
“The advantage of a long-term plan is that it gives us ambitious goals and targets to work towards,’’ he added.
Contribution of the media
The President of the GJA, Mr Affail Monney, stated that the media had a duty to create awareness of the plan so that it would achieve its intended purpose.
The Chairman of the NMC, Mr Kwasi Gyan–Apenteng, said the plan could be beneficial to the media industry owing to the changing trends in the industry.
“I think the media industry is probably the best cautionary tale of why we need long-term planning. As a result of the lack of adequate planning, the media industry is always playing catch-up in infrastructure and growth,’’ he said.