Senior minister-nominee, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, has downplayed the relevance of a 40-year national development plan to guide Ghana’s development agenda.
According to him, a long-term plan for national development must be limited to ten years due to world economic conditions and the advancement in technology.
Speaking at his vetting in Parliament on Friday, Osafo Maafo said, although he made inputs into the document that was spearheaded by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), he made his concerns known about the duration of the plan.
“I don’t believe in planning in excess of 10 years because of the stringency of world economics, and therefore I would prefer that we restrict ourselves to a 10-year development plan. I have made some inputs into it relating to infrastructure and energy.”
“The NDPC met the whole caucus of the NPP at our headquarters to discuss initially the 40-year development plan. The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and I expressed our views on the length of time.”
Osafo-Maafo noted that, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) will take another look at the plan, and together with the NDPC review it to make it relevant to the nation’s development.
“Now that we are in power, we are surely going to have a critical look at that programme and we are not going to swallow it hook, line and sinker. We’ll look at the 40-year-plan; it is important that every country like Ghana gets a long -term plan, particularly with respect to infrastructure, so that there will be continuity. So we will definitely look at it and where modifications are necessary, we’ll make it after going through.”
‘Mahama launches 40-year development plan’
The former NDC government led by John Mahama, in August 2015, launched a 40-year National Development Plan for Ghana (2018-2057), to provide a framework for national development binding on successive governments.
The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), which is headed by Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, consulted various stakeholders and considered the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the development plan.
‘The Senior Minister role’
The nomination of Yaw Osafo-Marfo as Senior Minister-designate, has seen some social commentators raise issues about the portfolio.
Although the portfolio existed under the erstwhile John Kufuor administration, critics believe it was superfluous with no specific designation.
But according to Mr. Osafo-Maafo, his role as Senior Minister is to coordinate the economic sector ministries including the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, to ensure that the “economy is re-situated in a homogeneous manner.”
Yaw Osafo-Maafo is 75 years old, and has had an exemplary career as a banker, consultant, politician and a statesman.
He is a graduate of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, an Engineer and Project Analyst by training, and a fellow of the Ghana Institute of Engineers.
He started his career as an engineer at the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO).
He went on to head and successfully restructure two major development banks – The Bank for Housing and Construction and The National Investment Bank.
He has also worked as a consultant for international development organisations such as the World Bank, African Development Bank (ADB), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) amongst others
Yaw Osafo-Maafo was a Member of Parliament for Akyem Oda Constituency for 3 terms and the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning for 4 years from 2001-2005, a period which saw the dramatic turnaround of the Ghanaian economy.
His achievements were recognised internationally in 2001 when he was adjudged the best Finance Minister of the year in Africa by the Banker Magazine, a Financial Times Publication.
Along with the Finance Minister of Canada, he was also named the Finance Minister of the Year in November 2001 by the World Economic Forum in Davos.
He served as Minister for Education and Sports from 2005 to 2006, a period which saw the implementation of significant reforms in education and sports sectors, including the introduction of the Capitation Grant.
Ghana for the first time qualified for the World Cup following the reforms under his leadership.
Osafo-Maafo has served on the boards of various financial institutions and corporates, and was the past Vice-President of the Executive Committee of the West African Bankers Association.
He was a founding Deputy Chairman of the Ghana Stock Exchange, and was instrumental in setting up Donewell Insurance Company and the Methodist University College Ghana.
He also represented the Institute of Engineers at the Consultative Assembly that drew up the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.
He is currently the Co-Chairman of the Transition Team, representing His Excellency the President, for the newly elected Government of Ghana.
He is married with four Children.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana