Government is making preparations for the introduction of a new rural development policy for the country within the first quarter of 2019, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has announced.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah, who made the disclosure during a press briefing on Wednesday, November 7, in Accra, said, “Government, through the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), is wrapping up work on a Rural Development Policy for Ghana.”
The focus of the policy is to achieve economic and social development in the rural areas through the provision of opportunities, he added.
According to the minister, “The policy will provide a roadmap for systematically tackling issues such as high incidence of poverty, migration, inadequate employment opportunities in rural areas, low investment in infrastructure and high incidence of illiteracy and non-functioning of sub-district structure.”
Ghana’s first attempt at comprehensively developing rural areas through a rural development programme was made in the 1970s during the tenure of Prime Minister Prof Kofi Busia.
“At the time, the aim was to increase agriculture production, accelerate rural industrialization, liberalization of the economy and promote domestic entrepreneurship. However, since then, Ghana’s rural development efforts have since then been checkered,” he said.
He revealed that the new policy would provide a proper framework for addressing prevailing issues in Ghana’s rural development and the appropriate institutions to effectively respond to the challenges.
He added that “it will also serve as the single reference point for all ministries, departments and agencies whose activities and mandates impact on the lives of people living in rural Ghana.”
According to him, all MMDAs would have responsibility for the implementation of the policy. “Stakeholder consultations have been concluded and the policy, which will first receive cabinet approval, will later be presented to Parliament for national consensus to be built around it,” Mr. Oppong Nkrumah added.