Political parties’ manifestoes to be aligned with national dev plan

BY: Edmund Smith-Asante
Director General of the National Development Planning Commission, Dr Nii Moi Thompson

The manifestoes of all political parties are to be aligned with the national development plan, the Director General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr Nii Moi Thompson, has stated.

Since the 1960s, Ghana has not had any long-term development plan, and this has resulted in an unplanned development of the country, with successive governments implementing plans contained in their party manifestoes.

A 40-year long-term development plan for the country is being prepared by the NDPC, in collaboration with various stakeholders, including the political parties.

At a media briefing Wednesday, Dr Thompson said the plan would bring political parties’ manifestoes in line with the national plan.

“One advantage here, especially in involving the political parties, is that we expect that if everything goes the way it is supposed to go, the gap between manifestoes and what political parties actually do will close substantially because now there will be a common framework that we are all operating from. You just have to tie your manifestoe to that,” he stated.

Political party involvement

Dr Thompson said already the six major political parties that fielded candidates in the last elections were involved and making vision statements at the regional stakeholders’ meetings, “not as an appendage to the process but as co-organisers and managers”.

He said representatives of the political parties had arrived in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region for the next phase of consultations, adding that each party was being represented by two persons, one of whom was responsible for the preparation of the manifesto of their party.

Dr Thompson explained that the strategy was to ensure “that there is a link and some sort of synergy and synchronisation between the manifestoes that political parties will eventually prepare and the overall framework or the long-term development plan that we are all collectively working to ensure”.

40-year development plan

The long-term plan tackles issues such as spatial planning, petroleum revenue, population growth, monitoring and a national infrastructure plan and is for the period 2018 to 2057.

It will be broken down into 10 four-year medium-term development plans, which would further be broken down into annual plans that would tie in with the annual budget.

Although preparation of the plan began with an initial budget of $10 million based on 10 regional consultations, discussions have begun between the NDPC and the Ministry of Finance to expand funding, as consultations have now been extended to the 216 districts.

Drivers of the plan, which has been tied in with the Africa Union (AU) 50-year Agenda 2063 and 15-year Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), include attitudinal change, human capital, public sector reforms, infrastructure, science, technology and innovation and land reforms.

Dr Thompson told journalists that the NDPC was still in the process of developing the outline of the long-term plan, which he said would focus on the context, record of planning in Ghana, vision, goals, policies and targets, national development policies and challenges, among other areas.