The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) in collaboration with the Department of Applied Economics has held a two-day forum to solicit contributions, perspectives and views of students on programmes and policies for Ghana’s Development Plan.
In her remarks at the programme, the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dora Edu-Buandoh, noted that policies underpinned by data provide assurances that investments made by the government will produce an effective outcome. She explained that “Although some policy failures over the years have been attributed to other factors, it is highly possible that most of such policies have failed in the past largely due to inaccurate data.”
Pro. Edu-Buandoh indicated that it was important to gather research conducted in the various universities and research institutes in a national data and research hub to assist the country’s policy makers. She added that a data-driven policy was the best way to achieve the goals of our developmental policies. She commended the NDPC for recognising the relevance of the youth in activities that lead to policy-making and development in the nation. She was very optimistic that the youth who were present, would make very productive inputs to the discourse.
Contribution to National Policy Process
The Director-General of the NDPC, Dr. Kodjo Esseim Mensah Abrampa, explained that the forum was aimed at contributing to the national policy-making process. “This programme will help us to come out with an output which is a representation of not only experts but people who understand the process and also have varied views,” he explained. Dr. Abrampa noted that the commission served as the thinking machine of the country and indicated that NDPC advises the president on all matters of strategic development and strategic planning and also enjoined by the constitution to ensure balanced development in Ghana among other responsibilities.
The Director-General of NDPC announced that the forum would be replicated at the University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and the University of Development Studies.
In his address, the Coordinator of Ghana Priorities, Dr Ralph Nordjo, explained that the focus of the project was to find solutions to develop the nation.
Experts from the NDPC made presentations on the planning systems and the budget processes in Ghana.
The two-day forum was climaxed with group presentations from students in the on topical issues facing the country. Topics presented by the students touched on were Malaria, Land Records and Illegal mining, Health System, Poverty, Gender, Family, Fisheries, Industrialization, Education, LPG cooking, Rural electrification, Mental Health, Urban Sanitation, Transportation among others.
Present at the opening ceremony were the Provost of the College of Humanities and Legal Studies, Prof Eric Francis Amuquandoh; Dean, School of Economics, Dr. Emmanueal Asmah; Head, Department of Applied Economics, Mr. Jacob Nunoo and some lecturers of the University.