18.05.2004 Business & Finance

Need for updating Poverty Strategy stressed

18.05.2004 LISTEN

Accra, May 18, GNA - Dr Samuel Nii Noi Ashong, Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning on Tuesday called for an update of the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) Document to bring it in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) set out by the United Nations.

This is to provide a vehicle to put into operation the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) and ensure that it backstops all sector plans of the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies, especially the Private Sector Development Strategy among other institutions.

The 2004 National Economic Dialogue (NED) takes off on May 26. The NED is a forum where stakeholders meet to strategise and appraise policy and make new ones for the Government to act on.

Dr Ashong, who was launching the 2004 NED in Accra, said a focused and integrative development strategy called for a unified overarching development agenda instead of a multiplicity of different development frameworks, plans, strategies programmes and projects. "It is from this sector that districts and sub-districts development plans take their roots."

The 2004 NED is under the theme: "An Integrated Strategy for Accelerated Growth, Wealth Creation and Sustained Poverty Reduction." Dr Ashong noted that a more focused system required that "we harmonise the current international, national, regional, sector and district frameworks and plans into one integrated national framework". He said the Government would this year use the NED or a participatory policy dialogue to begin the process of integrating all current development programmes being pursued to formulate an enhanced well-targeted strategy for poverty reduction and accelerated growth. "The task of the 2004 NED, whether explicit or implicit is to assess progress made in every sector of the economy in implementing the GPRS in 2003; identify relevant pressing problems and collectively prescribe workable solutions.

"It is also to ensure that the revision of the GPRS benefits from all policy recommendations that emerge from the NED and subsequent consultations at the grassroots level." Dr Ashong called on Ghanaians to exploit the opportunity that the NED offered for the mutual advantage. 18 May 04

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