General News of Sunday, 25 November 2018
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have pledged their commitment to implementing government’s Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (CPESDP 2017-2014).
Mr Samuel Boateng Arthur, who represented the Civil Societies Platform at a Regional Dissemination Workshop of the CPESDP in Accra at the weekend, said although Ghana had come a long way in its socio-economic development, there were still some development deficits, which required concerted efforts from government, private sector and civil society.
He noted that CSOs in Ghana, mainly non-profits, had actively promoted health, education, disaster relief services, democratic reforms and good governance practices of transparency and accountability.
“During the period that Ghana had made socio-economic progress, the role that CSOs have played to complement government’s efforts cannot be underestimated,” he said.
He said CSOs recognised that Ghana could not develop without their complementary roles and, thus, accepted the role outlined for them by President Akufo-Addo in the implementation of the CPESDP.
This role is to facilitate direct interventions at the district level, ensure dissemination of the coordinated programme, and promote accountability in the implementation process.
“Obviously the President has defined our niche and we wholeheartedly accept that,” he stated, adding that CSOs would leverage their competencies to facilitate constructive engagements between citizens and government on the implementation of the programme.
Mrs Elizabeth Tawiah Sackey, the Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister, in her welcome address, said the CDESDP, dubbed: “An Agenda for Jobs Creation, Prosperity and Equal Opportunity for All,” was the basis for Ghana’s Medium Term Policy Framework from which sector and district medium-term development plans and budgets were to be aligned.
She noted that in line with this, the workshop was to ensure that all state and non-state actors were well informed about the new policy direction, which served as the blueprint for the overall development of the country as well as to ensure accountability, improve development interventions and motivate stakeholders to action.
“It is in this regard that the Ministry of Planning has embarked on this initiative to provide the required guidance and technical expertise to our district planning practitioners to fine-tune the plans for implementation,” she said.
Mrs Tawiah Sackey said the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council would support district assemblies in the Region to deliver on their mandate in line with government’s priorities.
Dr Kodjo Mensah-Abrampa, Senior Technical Advisor at the Ministry of Planning, noted that although Ghana always had a coordinated programme from every government since Former President Rawlings’ tenure, the document was usually put together in or at the end of the second year in office, making it difficult to influence the planning process within the first term of office.
He said the CDESDP had, however, been produced by the ninth month of President Akufo-Addo’s Administration by a local technical team involving local planners, private sector and CSOs.
Dr Robert Chakanda, the Deputy Minister of Planning and Economic Development of Sierra Leone, who is leading a delegation to understudy Ghana’s Ministry of Planning, in an interview with the GNA, said Ghana and Sierra Leone were on the same path to development and thus they were studying Ghana’s Ministry of Planning to enable them to run their newly-created ministry.
“Ghana took the bold decision ahead of us to devolve the planning from the Ministry of Finance, for very good reasons. We also just did that in Sierra Leone and that’s why we are here; to learn,” he said, and that they were looking at Ghana’s structures as well as policies.