Participants in the event. Picture: EDNA SALVO-KOTEY
Participants in the event. Picture: EDNA SALVO-KOTEY

We need legally binding devt plans for successive governments — Prof. Adjaye

A Senior Fellow of the African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET), Prof. John Asafu Adjaye, has advocated a legally binding long-term plan that will compel successive governments to follow a specific development agenda.


Such an agenda, he said, would curtail the practice of governments assuming power and discontinuing projects that were initiated by their predecessors to spur economic progress.

“Having a legally binding national development plan to compel governments to follow specific plans and projects such as schools, roads, hospitals and industries, among others, will help us to see meaningful progress as a nation,” Prof. Adjaye added.

The fellow was speaking at the Compact Citizens’ Engagement forum in Accra last Wednesday. The three-day event is being jointly organised by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and ACET to engage citizens on political and economic transformational issues in the country.

Views of participants who include experts from India and Kenya will be solicited on concerns that had impeded the country’s development over the years.


Comparing the work of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) in Ghana and its India counterpart, Prof. Adjaye said in India, the Chairman of the NDPC sat in Cabinet, contrary to what pertained in Ghana where the commission only served as an advisory body under the Presidency, depriving it of independence status.

“So, the NDPC can come up with all the wonderful plans but it is just advisory and a government can take its advice or not. “We want the position to be changed so that any immediate long-term plan is backed by law, and governments have to abide by it. This is the change that has helped Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea,” he said.

Prof. Adjaye further said that those countries had 25-year-long and medium-term plans that every successive government had to implement, adding “this is what has helped them to reach where they are today”.

“But in Ghana, we do not have any mechanism like that; we have it on paper but it is not effective because it is not legally binding,” he said. 

Broad consultations

The Commission Secretary of the NCCE, Lucille Hewlett Annan, said her outfit was collaborating with ACET on the citizens’ engagement campaign. She said so far, the engagement had been held in Techiman, the Volta, Eastern, Northern, Ashanti and Western regions.

“We are going round listening to the people about the challenges facing their businesses and daily lives and for them to proffer solutions as to how they want those issues to be dealt with,” Mrs Annan said.

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