The development plan which begins from 2018 to 2056 will take into account population growth, urbanization, the use of new and relevant digital technologies or artificial intelligence and attitudinal change. Dr Thompson made this known at an evening encounter with selected men and women from the media and civil society organizations at Penplusbytes New Media Hub at Osu in Accra.
During the discussions it came to light that even though Ghana begun implementing various development plans such as the Seven Year Development Plan under Kwame Nkrumah’s government, Vision 2020 and others that emphasized on educational, industrial and health components (to mention but a few), we later did not take into account population growth, urbanization and the attitude of implementers in the programs and the views of the people.
This is why today we are experiencing lack of enough classrooms for pupils and students to the extent that currently 17,000 qualified students could not find placements in the University of Ghana. What do you think would happen to these students if their education is truncated? Perhaps the story would have been different if the students were counseled to choose other institutions of higher learning instead of their favorite University of Ghana.
Shortage of qualified teachers is also making it impossible for a large number of pupils to enjoy good tuition throughout the country. There are many nurses being produced in private and government institutions who do not find placements in government hospitals and clinics.
Even though many doctors are being produced in the country they are still not enough for the increasing number of sick people who report at our hospitals daily across the nation. Due to poor urban planning that leading to people building in waterways, floods occur frequently in city centers and some towns and villages during few hours of rainfalls. When Ghana set out to implement the seven year development plan Ghana’s population was 6million. However today the population of Ghana is 27 million which is likely to continue growing till the end of the 40 years in 2056.
This situation required strategic thinking involving people across the country and the use of digital technology in order for all government offices to be up to date with their records and information on developments. .what I discovered from Dr Thompson’s presentation is that is that from now till 2018 the NDPC would involve the people in the entire planning process by moving from regions to districts to discuss the plans with the people.
The consultation which has already begun involves traditional rulers, civil society group’s workers organizations civil servants, women youth and the disabled. After the preparatory periods it is likely that concerns and contributions of all sections of the people including political actors will be taken into account. The NDPC is conscious of the fact that Ghana is a multiparty democracy with various parties having to press home their ideologies with their manifestoes.
The concerns of our traditional administrations would also be taken into account. in order for all of them to help in designing the development plan the NDPC has invited six political parties particularly the New Patriotic Party and National Democratic Congress in its fold to discuss issues and for them to make inputs into the planning. According to Dr Thompson the involvement of the political parties is meant to place all of them on the same page to agree on set of plans to which they would subscribe whether they are in government or not at all given times.
In all that was discussed I agreed with Dr Thompson and the audience that we must press home the need for us all to change our bad attitudes towards work and be responsible people. We must desist from engaging in malingering and truancy. We must pay attention to rules governing our duties as civil, public servants and traditional administrators. We must not cheat during examinations as students and not collect bribes as workers to perform our duties. We must not sell or buy plots of land on unapproved land sites.
Our ICT staff must make sure they update our web sites by providing up latest information to the public. When we all adhere to the suggestions spelt out above, we would be able to contribute towards orderly development of our nation in accordance with our proposed 40 year development plan