GENERAL

Compact citizens engagement-participants identify solutions to problems facing the country
Participants at the Compact Citizens Engagement in Techiman have identified problems with and made recommendations towards fiscal responsibility, health action and national planning for the transformation of the country.

Date Created : 5/13/2024 12:00:00 AM : Story Author : Daniel Oduro-Stewart/Ghanadistricts.com

The engagement, a collaboration between the National Commission for Civic Education NCCE and the Africa Centre for Economic Transformation ACET formed part of a series of engagements to fashion out a compact document for the ‘Ghana Compact’ initiative.

The compact document will involve an aggregation of recommendations made by Ghanaians for adoption by authorities as a guiding principle for development with the aim of ensuring constitutional, political and economic reforms as well as setting long term vision and goals for the transformation of the country.

A member of the Commission Mrs. Hajara Rufai described the compact as an implicit agreement between citizens of Ghana and government adding that ACET will review and document challenges identified as well as recommendations made for the attention of government.

A senior analyst at ACET Mr. George Boateng said Ghana at the time of independence was one of the richest countries in Africa. He said our inability to process our raw materials like cocoa, cashew, bauxite and gold has led to the loss of potential revenue for development while contributing immensely to unemployment.

He said the social compact, if duly adopted and made legally binding on successive governments, holds the key to the social, economic and political challenges facing the country today.

Setting the tone for discussions on health action, the Nkoranza South municipal director of the Commission Mrs. Marian Owusu Dufie identified some challenges facing the health sector in Ghana in the areas of service delivery and access to essential medical supplies, vaccines and technology. She also mentioned the workforce, information systems and the financing of universal health coverage.

Taking his turn, the Bono-East regional director of the Commission Mr. Joseph Kwaku Yeboah who made presentations on both fiscal responsibility and national planning presented some key issues bothering on how government can increase revenue, reduce financial loss due to corruption as well as the misuse and wastage of public funds for discussions whiles looking at how government can manage spending and the national debt.

He also identified the lack of consistency in national development planning, the lack of a legal backing for the National Development Planning Commission role of implementing the national development plan, the lack of financial autonomy of the N.D.P.C and the fact that it is under-resourced as some of the problems facing the effective development planning of the country.

In a group work, participants identified possible solutions to five pertinent questions that cut across the issues discussed at the engagement.

These are how the issue of government spending a chunk of its revenue on payment of salaries to public sector workers leaving very little for public investment could be tackled, increasing revenue from the extractive sector, steps to ensure appropriate healthcare delivery to Ghanaians as well as ensuring policy and strategy consistency in development planning.

In her closing remarks, the secretary to the Commission Ms. Lucille Hewlette-Annan thanked participants for the in-depth knowledge exhibited adding that ACET will ensure their input is included in the Ghana Compact Document.