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12.09.2005 Feature Article

Should Ghana start 'periodic develoment plans' again

Should Ghana start 'periodic develoment plans' again
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During the first republic Ghana'sdevelopment programme was based on multi-year plans such as the 5-Year Development Plans of the early years and later changed to 7-Year Development Plans. If feel that is a better system as it enbles plans to be drawn up in a 'holistic' way. By this I mean your are able to take account of the effect of on project on other parts of the country, economic sector, or region.

One very good example of this is that when it was decided to build Tema Harbour and township it was obviously realised that traffic betwwen Tema and the capital city is going to be hectic so at the planning stage plans were also made to construct a first class road to link the two centres and thus the firstmotorway in Ghana.

Since 1966 these Development Plans have been stopped obviously because they were dubbed 'scocialist central planning.'

I feel that we sholu stop applying unnecessry labels to policies and do things because they are the right thing to do.

In this day of advanced business practice if you decide to go into business with some business ide and you approach a bank to advance you some funds towards the start-up capital, no matter how brilliant the idea sound and no matter that it is only going to be a small owner-operated business the bank manager will not even consider your application withot lookig at a business plan. How much more capitalist can you get as an institution than a bank and yet they do not see plans as socialist or communist instruments.

Today development plans in Ghana are made on the hop, usaully in radio stations by ministers answering impromptu questions. This way it is not easy to gauge the effect of a particular development on other sectors.

As a case in point, I understand as one of the current government's brilliant ideas it has started to expand the road between the Circle to Achimota in Accra into a 6-lane traffic to ease congestion on that streach of road. We can all guess what will happen when vehicles go tearing down the road from the circle in three lanes and get to Achimota and all have to squeeze onto a one-lane traffic. The congestion it will ctreate and, therefore,the frustration will be worse than the previous situation. A far reaching and well considered development plan would have highlighted this problem at the plannining stage and something would have been done.

Please lets hear views. Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.