‘Ghana cannot continue to run on political party promises’

Mr Eben Carboo-Hartog
Mr Eben Carboo-Hartog

Mr Eben Carboo-Hartog, a Development Practitioner has called for a rethink of Ghana’s economic development planning saying, the heavily polarized country needs a comprehensive long-term development plan.

He said successive governments had not been fully committed to long-term development strategies for the desired developments due to the differences in the ideological interests and policy priorities of political parties.

Mr Carboo-Hartog, who disclosed this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency observed that the country’s blueprints for economic planning had been medium-term strategies and political party manifestos and said that had to change to yield satisfactory results.

“We cannot continue to run this country on political party promises that are popular and over ambitious and medium-term development strategies that lack adequate consultation. For a heavily polarized country such as ours, we need a referee to manage our economic development planning.”

He said there was a lot to learn from Malaysia, which gained independence around same time as Ghana and which “per capita income was well over four times higher than Ghana” as of 2021 saying, at the root of that achievement was commitment to long-term development plans.

He noted it was time Ghanaians pulled the brakes on leaving economic planning and its coordination solely in the hands of political parties and allowed the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) established by Act 479, 1994 with the mandate to plan, monitor the country’s development programmes and policies, to forestall disruptions in the implementation of economic plans.

“Let us have a comprehensive long-term development plan with realistic targets and milestones prepared in broad consultation with all stakeholders. Let us re-examine the 1992 Constitution and make the NDPC independent of Executive control.

‘’Let the NDPC coordinate, monitor and evaluate implementation of the development plan, provide technical support, and report Government’s performance in relation to implementing the development plan to the Ghanaian people.

‘’Let political parties no more promise development but convince the Ghanaian people through presenting their proposals to delivering targets set out in the national development plan. Let the Ghanaian people use information from the NDPC’s assessment reports to decide whether to boot out governments or retain them,” Mr Carboo-Hartog proposed.

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