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25.11.2004 General News

Scrutinise developmental blueprints to ensure their workability

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Ho, Nov. 25, GNA - Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso, Senior Lecturer at the Legon Centre for International Affairs (LECIA) has called for the vigorous scrutiny of all developmental blueprints to ensure that they were workable.

He said the adoption of schemes by governments, whose grandiose objectives hardly translated into policy formulation was a source of concern.

Dr Antwi-Danso was delivering a paper on the role of District Assemblies in the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), at a workshop for District Assemblies in the Volta Region, in Ho on Thursday.

The NEPAD is an integrated developmental programme adopted by African Leaders under the aegis of the African Union (AU) to accelerate the growth of African countries.

The workshop was organised by The Foundation for Future Leaders International (FFLI) with support from Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Ministry for Regional Cooperation and NEPAD (MRCN).

Dr Antwi-Danso said some policy makers were completely ignorant of blueprint, which were invariably left to gather dust on shelves. He stressed the need for such plans to be fused into the national programmes for national development.

Dr Antwi-Danso said the implementation of any development programme in Ghana, which was divorced from the District Assembly concept would fail, given their position as the base political organs for planning and implementation of national programmes.

Dr Antwi-Danso observed that, NEPAD came on the heels of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), which despite recording impressive macro-economic indices in Ghana and elsewhere, only brought about higher numbers of poor people.

He said the adoption of the HIPC initiative in Ghana as a palliative against the debt burden was an indictment on the SAP. Dr Antwi-Danso said NEPAD was therefore apt, timely and reinforced the reality that Africa could only develop fast as one bloc and not in fragments.

"Regional integration was crucial and the only way to the speedy growth of the continent," he stated.

Dr Antwi-Danso regretted that the industrialised nations always reneged on their promises of financial support to programmes they facilitated or which were initiated by the continent. Mr Kwabena Nkansah Simpe, Deputy Programmes Manager of the FFLI called on districts to pool resources to initiate economic programmes. He said the trend now for every district to want to be sole owner of business organisations did not reflect the spirit of integration of the NEPAD initiative.

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