The Chairman for the National Development Planning Commission, Paul Victor Obeng has challenged the Board of Directors of the Commission to come up with innovative programmes to address the country’s development challenges.

 P.V Obeng
P.V Obeng

According to Mr. P.V Obeng, the country has reached such a critical stage in development that its citizens are demanding accelerated improvement in their lives, that they are impatient for development.

He acknowledged that, analysis undertaken by NDPC has showed that, significant progress has been recorded over the past four years towards the realisation of macroeconomic stability and the achievement of poverty reduction goals under the previous?medium term?national development policy frameworks.

However, other challenges – increasing fiscal and?balance of payment?deficits; major regional inequalities with the north experiencing significantly higher levels of poverty than the rest of the country; high youth unemployment; and slow progress towards the achievement of the MDGs, especially those relating to maternal mortality, child mortality, gender equality and environmental sanitation – needed immediate attention.

Mr. Obeng was speaking at a 3-day meeting? in Koforidua in the Eastern Region, to deliberate on a new medium term national development?policy framework, which is to guide the development of the country over the period 2014 ? 2017. This framework is a successor to the Ghana Shared Growth Development Agenda (GSGDA, 2010-2013), which has influenced the implementation of Government programmes and projects, and the development of the country, over the past four years.

The?Senior Advisor?to the President therefore stressed, ?the need for the new development framework to be strategic and purposeful in order to consolidate our collective gains over the past few decades and accelerate the pace of national development.

He observed that, as Ghana transitions to advanced middle income status, it would be appropriate for us as a nation not to be a middle income nation just in name but to come up with?development strategies?that will put us at a trajectory towards a progressive middle income economy just like Brazil,?South Africa?and other middle income icons.

The subsequent discussions on the policy framework focused on the following priority areas for national development: (i) ensuring and sustaining macroeconomic stability; (ii) enhanced competitiveness of Ghana?s private sector; (iii) accelerated agricultural modernization and natural resource management; (iv) Oil and Gas development; (v) infrastructure, energy and human settlements development; (vi) human development, employment and productivity; and (vii) transparent and accountable governance.

The meeting involved the ten regional representatives of the Commission, the Government Statistician, the representative of the Bank of Ghana, and renowned Ghanaians who are knowledgeable in national development including Mr. Ishmael Yamson, Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa, Prof. Kwamina Ahwoi, Mr. Kwame Peprah, Prof. Sangsore, and Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, just to name a few. The meeting was chaired by Mr. P.V. Obeng who is the Chairman of the NDPC and Senior Presidential Advisor.

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