The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) has begun a series of national consultations on the Ghana Shared Growth Development Agenda (GSGDA) II, which is being prepared to be implemented over the period 2014-2017.
Speaking at the first consultation meeting with Development Partners on Wednesday, Dr Regina Adutwum, Director-General NDPC, said the GSGDA II, a successor medium-term national development policy framework, would help address some challenges and sustain the gains made during the implementation of the GSGDA.
She said the underlying theme of the GSGDA II is socio-economic transformation, which involves a change in the structure and composition of the national output in ways that enhance broad-based, inclusive and sustainable growth.
It would also involve innovating the process of production through skills and technological upgrading; enhancing the competitiveness of industry and trade; lifting workers from low-productive agriculture to higher productive activities; and putting the economy on a growth path that creates jobs, opens up decent work opportunities for all, alleviates poverty and reduces income and social inequalities.
Dr Adwutum said the strategic direction for national development is to leverage on natural resource endowments, agriculture potential and relatively large human resource base to accelerate socio-economic transformation through value addition and industrial production starting with light manufacturing and diversification.
“This will be underpinned by partnership with the private sector to expand development of critical infrastructure through self-financing vehicles, including Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and other commercial arrangements,” she said.
Key areas will include power generation, roads and railways, large scale housing development, water, healthcare and sanitation and public safety and enhancing education through science, mathematics, and technology to meet the demands of a new innovation-driven age will be a key pre-requisite.
In line with the sustainable development goals, and to address climate change concerns, the medium-term national development objectives take into consideration the need to promote basic living standards; and adoption of the principles of green economy in the national development planning and implementation, and enhance the capacity to mitigate and reduce the impact of natural disasters, risks and vulnerability.
Consequently the policy proposals under the GSGDA II, 2014-2017 will focus on continued pursuit of macroeconomic stability; creating the appropriate fiscal space for accelerated investments in key priority programmes, in partnership with the private sector and sustainable exploitation of Ghana’s natural resource endowments in agriculture, minerals, oil and gas.
Other areas of focus are strategic investments in human capital, infrastructure, human settlements, science, technology and innovation to drive industrialisation, in particular manufacturing.
It will also involve strengthening the capacity for effective implementation of government policies and programmes, including the management of economic policy decision-making, and strengthening the capacity for enforcement of rules, regulations and discipline.
In 2010, government prepared the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA) to be implemented over the period 2010 – 2013.
The GSGDA provided the basis for preparing sector and district medium term development plans for the period 2010 - 2013; preparig annual national budgets for the period 2010 – 2013 and operationalizing the President’s vision.
Consequently the strategic direction during the GSGDA, 2010 – 2013 was to lay the foundation for the structural transformation of the economy within the decade ending 2020, through industrialization, especially manufacturing, based on modernised agriculture and sustainable exploitation of Ghana’s natural resources, particularly minerals, oil and gas.
Dr Adutwum said the overall assessment of progress so far had shown that the Ghanaian economy improved considerably especially during the periods 2010 and 2011, and led to significant improvement in per capita income from US$1,292.5 in 2010 to US$1,570 in 2012 and the attainment of the per capita income target of US$1,567.27 by 2013 ahead of the planned date of 2013;
However, she said, accelerated economic growth has not been matched by appropriate levels of job creation, while inequalities have increased as well as high poverty levels especially in the three northern regions, and among some socio-economic groups.
In their comments, representatives of the Development Partners called for macro-economic stability and fiscal discipline, saying the two were critical to the success of the Agenda.
There is also the need to strengthen areas on inequality and the improvement of productivity.
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