Promoting dialogue towards achieving consensus is considered an essential pre-requisite for success in any development effort. Several benefits result from employing consensus-building to address challenges in life. Collaboration towards consensus building is a sure way of having quality solutions to challenges. The clarion call for consensus building in development planning that cut across party lines has become important especially as a sustainable transformational development strategy.
Unfortunately, the nature of democracy sometimes creates suspicion when consensus building is being initiated. In spite of this challenge, there is no gain-saying that consensus building remains critical to the enterprise of nation building that can stand the test of time. In May last year, a national economic forum was held at Senchi in the Eastern region at the height of the economic crisis when the cedi was depreciating rapidly and the economy facing severe challenges.
The purpose of the economic forum was therefore to promote dialogue towards achieving consensus on the policies, strategies and measures that are required to rescue the nation from these challenges. The forum brought together a wide range of stakeholders to promote dialogue on some of the critical economic policy issues confronting the country.
Thankfully, the Senchi forum never remained another talk-shop but was followed immediately with the formation of the Post ‘Senchi’ Implementation Advisory Group at the National Development Planning Commission with the responsibility of guiding the implementation of the recommendations of the Forum. The objectives of the Implementation Advisory Group are among others to establish a coordinated implementation and monitoring arrangement for effective implementation of the recommendations.
It is believed that the successful implementation of the Senchi consensus will go a long way to usher in a new era of stable, shared and sustainable growth if it receives the desired support and commitment. For some months now, the Implementation Advisory Group has had their hands glued to the wheel to actualize the worthy ideas in the Senchi consensus.
As much as there have been some challenges towards the implementation of the Consensus it is worthy of mention that some important successes have been chalked up such as the midterm review of the government’s budget by the Finance Minister that helped to stabilize the cedi. This was followed by the one billion dollars from the Euro bond, as well as the one point six billion dollars from the COCOBOD syndicated loan, not forgetting the government’s decision to open negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.
Receiving the report, President Mahama indicated that the massive investments being made by government in the energy sector are in response to one of the key recommendations of the Senchi consensus, to improve electricity supply for industry and households. Countries such as China, Singapore and Sri Lanka have attained commendable development partly due to well-articulated and effectively implemented national visions. The responsibility lies on all well-meaning Ghanaians to support such development efforts that cut across party lines to ensure long term solutions to Ghana’s economic challenges.
BY: DAVID OWUSU-AMOAH, NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANNING COMMISSION.