The National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) has held a consultative engagement for various stakeholders on key policies and strategies that will guide government’s development agenda for the next four years starting 2022.
The two-day event, held in Tamale, was also to allow the stakeholders to validate the key issues, proposed policy objectives, strategies and targets to ensure holistic development of the country.
The stakeholders included Heads of Department, planning officers, traditional authorities, women and youth groups amongst others drawn from the Northern Region.
Since 2018, Government has been implementing the medium-term policy framework, the “Agenda for Jobs: Creating Prosperity and Equal Opportunity for All”, over the period 2018-2021.
The framework provided the basis for national budgeting process, and planning authorities across the country used the framework to prepare their current development plans within the same time frame of 2018-2021.
It also guided the development cooperation between government and development partners at both national and sub-national level as well as operationalised the vision of the President as contained in the Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies (2017-2024).
Since the framework was nearing its expiration, the NDPC commenced work on a successor document and so far, a draft policy document for 2022-2025 had been prepared, hence the consultative engagement.
Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister, whose speech was read on his behalf during the event, emphasised the need for the stakeholders to do a thorough job, saying “as experts and officers on the operational level, we must review thoroughly the proposals made by the Cross-Sectoral Planning Groups at the national level” for the development of the country.
Alhaji Saibu said the Region was still confronted with socio-economic challenges including unemployment for the youth, limited access to social services, inadequate health infrastructure and services for children and women, ineffective social protection schemes for the aged and marginalised, and entreated the stakeholders to work to ensure that the strategies to be implemented from 2022 to 2025 would result in significantly addressing those challenges.
He said “Once the policy framework is finalised, the Regional Coordinating Council would be expected to work closely with all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to finalise their respective development plans and subsequently complete the Regional Integrated Plan for the Region for the same period. Both the district development plans and the Regional Integrated Plans would have to be implemented comprehensively to ensure the achievement of both regional and national development goals and objectives.”