The Department of Development Communication under the School of Communication and Media Studies (SCMS), University of Education, Winneba (UEW), has organised a day’s seminar to appraise Ghana’s development agenda since its independence.
The event, held at the North Campus Mini-Conference Room was under the theme “Ghana’s Development Agenda Since Independence: What We Have Done Right, and What We Have Not Done Right as a Nation”.
The Director General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr. Nana Mensah-Abrampa, who spoke on the theme, underscored the need for all human beings, regardless of their colour, race, or religion, to strive to improve their lives by meeting some of the key ingredients of development.
Dr. Nana Mensah-Abrampa
"There are so many ways development has been measured, and human beings at every point respond to this in the whole development agenda as a people. In terms of economic literature, there are three key elements that are fundamental: the development logic, the structure, and the legitimacy that we all accept from our legal context and inclusiveness," he stated.
Dr. Mensah-Abrampa indicated that the government needed to assist in the development of the private sector in the first phase of Vision 2020, given that efforts put into developing the public sector had failed. He asserted that it was the first time the government worked with the private sector to train and equip individuals with the required skills for the country. This resulted in the creation of many commodities for export.
He urged the government to equip and absorb the secondary sector of the economy, which includes processing and manufacturing. He said, "You cannot be planting for food and jobs when you do not have the secondary part, which is to absorb. Anytime food production is low, there is an increase in inflation." The NDPC Director said Ghana would be well if she made her budget in accordance with a plan.
"If we do not apply this logic, then we will plan in vain, we will budget in vain, and the problem logic will continue. The basic thing is that many of our plans do not speak to our budget. The development trajectory follows a sequence; you cannot produce fertiliser and give seeds to farmers when you are not thinking about how it should be processed and marketed," he averred.
Prof. Andy Ofori-Birikorang
A professor of communication and Chairman of the seminar, Prof. Andy Ofori-Birikorang, underlined the need for intellectuals to gather to discuss current events in the country and propose pragmatic solutions to critical concerns.
On her part, the Dean of SCMS, Prof. Charlotte Fofo Lomotey, outlined people's expectations of the government to do much to enhance their lives and resources.
Prof. Charlotte Fofo Lomotey
"We seek knowledge on issues that will help us see this development emerge. When we look at the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), what I ask myself is, has my country, Ghana, achieved half of these goals? Every one of these goals has been programmed so that by the time they are achieved, we will have moved forward from where we were.
“Sometimes we grow, but we do not develop. We need to understand, and it comes about as a result of receiving adequate education. Today, we are fortunate to have an expert from the National Development Commission tell us if we have achieved anything,” she remarked.
Mr. Kwesi Aggrey
The Head of the Department of Development Communication and host, Mr. Kwesi Aggrey, pointed out that universities were known for developing and sharing information and that many people had their own perspectives and ideas of development.
"When we became independent, various governments talked about development and what plans we had put in place as a people. Are we on course, and what is the way forward? We decided to bring in an expert to help investigate and deliberate on this issue," he affirmed.