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Dr. J.B. Danquah

Ghana needs long-term, strategic development plan – Atsu Aryee

Rector of MountCrest University College in Accra,

Professor_Joseph_Roland_Atsu_Ayee

Professor Joseph Roland Atsu Ayee

, has underscored the need for what he describes as “a comprehensive, long-term, strategic, multi-year rolling national development plan” to address the development challenges of the country.

Delivering the last in the series of the 46th J.B. Danquah Memorial Lectures in Accra Wednesday, he said, “The ‘promised land’ agenda may not be realised because there is no comprehensive, long-term and strategic national development plan.”

“Short to medium-term programmes and plans will not take Ghana to the ‘promised land’,” he contended.

Prof Ayee said the proposed long-term development plan should inform the annual budget and economic policy of the government.

“This will improve the current practice of short-term planning and the reliance on political party manifestos that do not garner broad consensus. It will also address the spate of abandoned projects across the country,” he said.

Prof Ayee said a comprehensive and long-term national development plan also depended on the availability and reliability of relevant information.

He, however, said that “given the country’s history of poor record keeping (unless it is promptly addressed), this may seem a mirage”.

The three-day lectures were organised by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS) in honour of Dr Joseph Boakye Danquah, a renowned Ghanaian statesman and member of the ‘Big Six’.

The theme for the lectures was; “Leadership and the Ghanaian state today: Reflections and perspectives” and the focus of Prof Ayee’s final lecture was on “Leadership, the future of the Ghanaian state and the ‘promised land’ agenda”.

He said the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) under Chapter Six of the 1992 Constitution provided the ‘promised land’ agenda or the long-term national development vision for Ghana.

The DPSP provides for the establishment of a just and free society and mandates the government to design and implement policies and programmes that will ensure the realisation of the policy.

According to Prof Ayee, the ‘promised land’ agenda could be achieved through a transformational leader who was supportive of and committed to pursuing the concept of a capable and flexible developmental state with key features such as transformational or development-oriented leadership and relative state autonomy.

Other key features necessary for national development were developmental public administration or public service, production-oriented private sector, performance-oriented governance, development governance, effective national development planning and promoting good governance.

“The future direction of Ghana and its prospects will not hang in the balance if the resources of the country are well managed and if all Ghanaians, irrespective of their political affiliations, in their various endeavours seek to promote the public interest,” Prof Ayee said.

He said a transformational leader must be a visionary, agile, adaptive and able to motivate others to achieve national strategic goals and sustainable development.

Professor Ayee said for leaders to be effective and transformational, practical support must be given to them, adding that the attention of the President and other leaders at the centre of government was one of the few reasons that things got done.

He said the task of national development was not the responsibility of leaders alone and, therefore, called on all Ghanaians to be patriotic and make it a national duty to contribute their quota to the task of national development.

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