Although cynics have criticised the long duration of the development plan, the AGI President, Mr James Asare-Adjei, however, said there could not be any meaningful long-term development plan for the country without industry being placed at the centre.
“What we have realised is that the country’s economy has seen leapfrog agrarian economy into service sector really by passing industry. So AGI is requesting that the long-term 40-year development plan being initiated by the current government should make industrialisation a central pillar to ensure the economy would develop,” he said in an interview with the GRAPHIC BUSINESS in Accra.
He said that was the only way Ghana could create the needed jobs and wealth which was critical at this point in time and also in future.
“If we look at industrialisation as a strategic focus then we are going to see a ripple effect. Until such a time that we have a focus on industry whatever development plan, be it medium term or long term, will not be meaningful to the growth of the economy,” he said.
The NDPC launched the process to prepare a 40-year development plan for Ghana (2018-2057).
The plan will bind governments to a vision lasting till the country attains 100 years.
The idea of the plan was born out of the recommendations of the Constitution Review Commission of 2010.
While some have questioned the duration of the plan, Mr Asare-Adjei said country’s world over which were developed adopted such plans.
“It is very necessary because it gives long focus for governments to abide by. However, this long term must be broken down into a five-year or two-year specific plan to ensure that we don’t have one document and we don’t have specific individual time bound plan,” he said.
He said the AGI would come up with strong inputs to capture the aspirations of industry now and into the future.
“Whatever inputs we make institutions charged with the responsibility of putting together the collective interest should seriously consider industrialisation and our inputs should be reflect,”he said.
The Country Director of SEND Ghana, a civil society organisation, Mr George Osei-Bimpeh, said a development plan for the country was long overdue.
He said it was important that the institutions charged to put together the plan should ensure the total buy-in of all stakeholders.
“It should be accommodating such that as a function of the degree of flexibility of the plan in terms of accommodating the different political ideologies we have in the country but it should also be pragmatic not be too much ideologically driven,” he said.
He said it was important for such a plan to be clearly benchmarked and to have timeline, and that Ghana has a good opportunity to anchor the first 15 years on a global framework like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“At the same time we should be conscious of the countries contest so that we will be able to have a plan that respond to our needs and we will be able to as people evaluate on short-term basis to see the kind of progress we are making,” he said.
One of the main outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference was the agreement by member states to launch a process to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals and converge with the post 2015 development agenda.