President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday launched Government’s coordinated programme of economic and social development policies, bolstering his vision to establish a strong economy with opportunities for the growth, development and prosperity of every Ghanaian.
The document titled the “Agenda for Jobs: Creating Prosperity and Equal Opportunity for All”, which captures divergent aspirations of Ghanaians, would guide the planning, policy decision-making, implementation, measurement and assessment of government’s policies, programme and actions to be pursued in all regions, districts and sectors of the country.
Addressing stakeholders at the launch of the 7-year policy document, President Akufo-Addo stated that his government was aimed at creating an optimistic, self-confident and prosperous nation “through the creative exploitation of the country’s human and natural resources, and operating within a democratic, open and fair society, in which mutual trust and economic opportunities exist for all.”
The President is enjoined by Article 36, Clause 5 of the 1992 constitution to present his coordinated programme of economic and social development policies including agricultural and industrial programmes at all levels and in all regions of Ghana to Parliament within two years after assuming office.
He said the vision was informed by the need to establish a strong economy, that created opportunities, inspired people to start businesses, stimulated expansion of existing businesses, and, ultimately, led to the creation of jobs, increased economic growth and higher incomes.
The President noted that while government enhanced its capacity to provide basic public goods and services desired by citizens, enhanced access to social services, such as education, training and skills development and healthcare; and direct investment in infrastructure, such as transportation, power, affordable housing and water, citizens should be able to expand their scope of choice in consumption and saving decisions as a result of the implementation of these policies.
Thus, government’s policy direction, he said, was founded on five pillars of growth and development, namely revitalising the economy; transforming agriculture and industry; revamping economic and social infrastructure; strengthening social protection and inclusion; and reforming delivery of public service institutions.
President Akufo-Addo was of the belief that government’s economic policy and effective fiscal policy management would create favourable conditions for economic development and spur private sector investment, expansion and enhanced productivity.
He stated that the Co-ordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies, would promote the government’s “One District, One Factory” initiative.
“The industrial policy is to be supported by targeted provision of infrastructure to eliminate critical bottlenecks in the areas of roads, rail, aviation, water, sanitation, and energy, and distribute infrastructure fairly and comprehensively across the country,” he said.
The President further explained that government’s social policy regime was to invest in people, by improving access and ensuring the provision of quality education, healthcare, and affordable housing.
“An integrated social policy regime will address the demands of the growing population, urbanisation and social infrastructure needs. Appropriate policies for social protection and inclusion will be sustained to address the needs of the vulnerable, including specific investments in rural, coastal, Zongo and inner city communities,” he said.
The Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), as well as the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, the President indicated, were to prepare their respective Medium-Term Development Strategies and Plans in response to, and for implementing, the policies under the Agenda.
“We will facilitate the private sector to develop its capacities and position itself to partner government in implementing key initiatives identified under the Agenda. Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have the significant role of disseminating information on the Agenda, facilitating direct interventions at the community level, and ensuring accountability in delivery,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo urged public servants, private sector operators, organised labour, actors in the informal sector, members of the media, institutions for research and learning, civil society actors, religious figures, traditional authorities, and friends of Ghana, to join hands in ensuring that the national clarion call resonated.
This, he said, is crucial, “so that we usher in a new era to create jobs for our people, to set-off on a new epoch of ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’, and to generate prosperity and equal opportunity for all.”