Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The importance of 2017 National Policy Summit

Development Policy interventions have been part of nation building since time immemorial. Governments have over the years committed significant resources to support development interventions designed to improve the welfare of the people. When such interventions are well planned with the appropriate of policies, they are expected to yield desired social and economic development outcomes. One essential ingredient towards fruitful development intervention is dialogue. Promoting dialogue towards achieving consensus is considered an essential pre-requisite for success in any development effort.

It is in the light of these that the ongoing National Policy Summit initiated by the Ministry of Information to provide a platform for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to engage stakeholders in their operations is, considered laudable. According to the organisers, the purpose of the National Policy Summit is to regularly inform the public on detailed government strategies for revamping the economy for sustained growth. Such summit offers the platform for dialogue and is worthwhile towards effective public service delivery. It will in the long run ensure that policies formulated are achieved in relation to growth and development targets. The two-day Summit is expected to help government elicit feedback to shape its policies and programmes.

The event provides targeted information to meet the needs of specific stakeholders and will help interrogate policies and programmes whiles fostering partnership between government and the private sector in the areas of finance, agriculture, trade and industry, energy, infrastructure and poverty eradication among others. It is important to note that countries like China, Singapore, Sri Lanka among others that have chalked tremendous success in national development in recent times have from time to time critically offered platforms for such policies to be openly discussed and critiqued. The responsibility lies on all well-meaning Ghanaians to support such development efforts that cut across political party lines to ensure long term solutions to Ghana’s economic challenges. The intention of the Ministry of Information to ensure that this initiative becomes a regular programme is heartwarming and should be embraced by all.

Addressing participants at the opening of the Policy Summit in Accra Vice President Dr Mahamadu Bawumia indicated that government will host a port efficiency conference to learn best practices from countries in Africa and beyond to ease the stress of doing business in Ghana. According to the organizers of the summit, the programme will also engage Independent Power Producers interested in government’s alternative energy programmes as well as the Bulk Distributing Companies wanting to understand some of the new policies.

These are indications that the summit will tap ideas from both local and international sources as a recipe for sustainable development. The Ministry of Information deserves commendation for this initiative tailored at consensus building which is important in today's interconnected society. This is because many problems exist that affect diverse groups of people with different interests. As problems mount, organizations that deal with society's problems come to rely on each other for help. Consensus-building allow a variety of people to make input into decision-making rather than leaving controversial decisions up to government representatives or experts.

Opening up governance through summits like this is therefore laudable and should not be a nine days' wonder.

BY DAVID OWUSU-AMOAH HEAD OF RESEARCH, INFORMATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT.

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