The overriding development focus for the 2006 to 2009 planning period is: the enlargement of income levels and distribution, improvement of the quality of human capita/ and promotion of effective decision- making in an environment of increased social mobilization and participation in governance as well efficient societal transformation.
The background of the development focus stems from the fact that the District is still lagging behind in development and societal welfare and it is incumbent on the District Assembly to bring improvement and development in the living conditions of the people. This can be traced from the present limited human resource and basic services development, production levels and governance institutional status are poor and do not reach the required standard needed for socio economic development.
As a result of this, the overall district goal seeks to address the problems through the formulation of goals to improve educational levels, health and housing status, water supply and environmental conditions, create employment opportunities and improve the capacity of the sub-district institutions to enhance the living condition of the people.
Thematic Development Focus and Goals
Having derived the overriding District development focus and goal that provide the guiding principle and direction for transformation, the segment concentrates on the respective thematic focus and goals. These are arranged according to the pillars of the GPRS II namely private sector led competitiveness, human resource development and good governance and civic responsibility. The main development goals and theme formulated under this broad thematic area are as explain subsequently. Development Focus
The development focus represents the key issue or the main area of concern in planning for development. The development focus under human resource development is the broad goal which intensively needs concentration and resources within the priorities and prospects for development in order to achieve all the other goals under the thematic area. The development focus was derived through the inter compatibility analysis (district goals against national goals). Thus the development focus should encompass all the technical goals that have been derived. From the analysis, all the goals are likely to get support during implementation as they are found within the framework of the national policy (GPRS II). The development focus derived for the thematic area is, To Improve the Quality of the Human Resource in the District. This focus is to be achieved through the following intentions.To Enhance Entrepreneurial Ski/Is
This goal was derived as a result of low level of entrepreneurial skills which is caused mainly by high illiteracy of the target group, inadequate personnel and logistics and low access to credit facilities. The component of entrepreneurial skill development will be targeted at the unemployed youth as well as those who wish to be self employed. Entrepreneurial skill is very important as it equips people with various employable skills. The focus will be on training and retaining, with emphasis on business management. Skills development needs to be enhanced and improved because it promotes employment for the youth and increase private investment. This goal when achieved will contribute to the realization of the other goals of this thematic area.To Improve Educational Quality and Literacy Levels
With the introduction of the free compulsory universal basic education (fCUBE) nation wide, it becomes necessary to improve the educational access. Inadequate teaching and learning materials especially the workshop equipment for practical works, poor and inadequate school buildings, limited supply of textbooks and lack of libraries among others are hampering educational performance. The improved educational performance would lead to quality human resource to support the development of the District.
To Enhance Access to Safe and Reliable Water Supply and Adequate Sanitation Facilities Improving access to potable water and sanitation is critical to achieving favourable health outcomes, which in turn facilitate economic growth and sustained poverty reduction. Adequate sewage and sanitation facilities are important for environmental cleanliness and prevention of communicable diseases such as diarrhea and dysentery. This goal was formulated to solve the problem of high rate of water related diseases and poor sanitary conditions which is caused by irregular water supply, long distance to water facilities/ source and improper waste management in the district.
To Improve Health Status for Accelerated Societal Transformation
Improving the health status of the district is crucial for poverty reduction, in that, ill health is both a consequence and cause of poverty. This goal was derived to solve the problem of High maternal and infant mortality rate and low patronage of NHIS.. These problems are caused by inadequate logistics, inadequate health personnel and ineffective sensitization on the essence of the NHIS respectively. According to the data collected from the district on health service, there is high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the district. The goal of ensuring that the prevalence of HIV is reduced is very critical and must be intensified. HIV/AIDS and poverty are intricately linked, because they are associated with cost for victim, family and society, exclusion and loss of income earners. This goal seeks to solve the problems that may result from the increased prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the district.To Provide Decent and Affordable Housing Facilities
Access to adequate housing, together with access to safe water and sanitation facilities, is an important ingredient in efforts to improve the health status and livelihoods of the people in the district. The goal of providing decent and affordable housing facilities in the district became necessary as a result of problems and priorities identified in the district. To Ensure the Provision of Alternative Sources of Energy
From the data gathered, it was realized that there is a high incidence of degradation of the forest which is mainly caused by the overdependence on firewood as a source of energy for cooking. In order to curb this problem, there is the need to provide alternative sources of energy, hence, this goal.
Key Development Issues
Under the production and gainful employment segment of the private sector led competitiveness thematic area, four sub-sectors were identified namely agriculture, service, industry and gainful employment. Under these, problems and their causes were identified together with the district’s priorities. Low agricultural production, inadequate capacity of the DADU as well as the high incidence of post harvest loses for some food crops as a result of poor storage facilities, have been identified as the major problems in the agricultural sub-sector.
Agricultural production in the district is greatly hampered by the inadequate number of extension personnel. The survey revealed that there are only seventeen officers in the whole district giving extension officer- farmer ratio of 1: 3,412 which is over and above the national acceptable ratio of 1:2,500. Most farmers are therefore denied the opportunity to be introduced to new varieties of crops as well as other technical advice that could help boost production and productivity. Storage facilities were also found to be poor rendering the produce stored susceptible to pest attack.
Limited availability of industries of all kinds (small and medium scale) is the major problem in the industrial sector. The establishment of agro-processing industries could help reduce the incidence of post harvest loses as the produce could be processed into finished or semi finished goods. Low investment is the major problem in the service sector and it is mainly caused by the poor access to credit facilities and inadequate capital used in the establishment of businesses.Development Focus
The development focus represents the scope within which resources will be committed in order to bring about development in the district. The development focus for the District under private sector led competitiveness is "Increasing income through the creation of enabling environment for gainful employment". Increasing and sustaining production in all sectors namely agriculture, service and industry will increase the income level of producers and also contribute to the absorption of the labour force in the District. Production in all the three sectors of the economy is low. In view of this, most workers in these sectors are not gainfully employed as they earn low incomes with most of them classified as very poor (agriculture 51.5%, service 32.8% industry 21.0%). By providing entrepreneurial skills and making micro-credit facilities available and accessible, people will to expand and effectively manage their productive activities, hence, being gainfully employed.
Creation of gainful employment will therefore improve workers earnings and improve upon their standard of living. The specific intentions of this thematic area are as outlined below:
- To boost agricultural production and productivity This goal will increase and sustain agricultural production by strengthening the performance of the DADU, their extension officers will then advice farmers on improved farm practices and the usage of improved storage facilities to increase and sustain production levels. This goal will conflict with the goal to protect the environment. The area of conflict will be resolved by integrating environmental protection measures into production practices such as extension officers advising farmers on the use of the required quantities of chemicals in other not to pollute land, water bodies and air.
- To create the enabling environment to enhance production in the industrial and service sectors on sustainable basis: By giving capacity training to local entrepreneurs and giving them access to financial assistance, their production levels will be increased. Measures will however be instituted to regulate industrial operations to ensure that they conform to environmental standards.
- To increase income levels through the creation of gainful employment: The achievement of this goal will ensure that workers are gainfully employed in all sectors of the economy to enable them earn high incomes. This goal is not found to be in conflict with the other development goals in the District.
- To enhance access to economic support systems on sustainable basis This goal tries to make credit facilities, inputs and capacity building programmes accessible to producers and service provider for enhanced income through increased production and productivity.
- To improve marketing systems in the productive sectors The main thrust of this goal is to improve prices of agriculture produce and better distribution of goods and services for higher income level and booster social and economic activities.
- To enhance access to post and telecommunication opportunities and good roads The realization of these broad intention and aspiration would promote equitable economic and social interaction as well as effective and informed circulation of development information and functional mass education
- To promote tourism development This is to enhance revenue generation and improve aesthetics as well as protect the natural environment. From the analysis it was realized that the formulated goals were highly compatible with the national goals and the District priorities. This means that their achievement will not have any adverse effects on the achievement of other goals within the District and that of the nation and It can be concluded that the goals fall within the framework of the national goals and the entire District goals.
Development Focus for governance and financial management
The development theme represents the key issue or the main area of concern in planning for development. The development theme was derived based on the development problems identified and the goals formulated aimed at bringing remarkable development in the thematic area under concern. The development theme derived for the thematic area was: "Enhancing Good Governance for the Effective and Efficient Management of the Development of the District.
The assembly’s response to public demands as well as the level of service delivery has been low as far as the wellbeing of the people is concerned. Also, the involvement of the people at the grassroots in development has been an issue which has not received adequate attention. These serve as the bases for the numerous problems identified. Under this theme, the goals formulated will be directed towards proper training of staff, adequate provision of the needed logistics, and institution of incentives as well as sanctions to be applied to effect transformation within the assembly set-up. Efforts will also be directed towards increasing the revenue base of the assembly and enhance the level of security and disaster prevention.
The specific intentions under governance and financial management are as explained subsequently:
- To develop the administrative capacity towards higher performance This goal is directly related to the problem of ineffective functioning of the various decentralized departments within the Assembly. This goal is aimed at putting mechanisms in place to ensure capacity building for all relevant personnel within the assembly for to enhance their operations. From the analysis, this goal was compatible with all the district goals as well as the national goals; in other words it serves as the basis for achieving most of the goals formulated for the district.
- Improve participatory process for good governance and development: This goal also directly relates to the priorities of the district. The goal seeks to empower those at the grassroots (the people) to be effectively involvement in the development process. It also seeks to ensure increased participation of women in decision making process in the district. The national goal which falls under the same sector (which this goal receives much of its support) i.e. to accelerate the implementation of decentralization in Ghana also seeks to empower all structures within the decentralization structure to ensure the involvement of all development stakeholders in developing the districts
- To enhance the financial capacity of the assembly towards higher performance This is concerned with improvement in revenue mobilization. This goal among other things seeks to enhance the capacity of the Assembly to internally generate funds for development projects in order to promote self reliance. The goal of improving fiscal resource mobilization, which represents the national goal within this sector also seeks to:
- Strengthen revenue collection institutions and the DA for tax collection
- Improve collection of non-tax revenues
- To ensure effective allocation and management of mobilized funds: This goal which falls in the area of revenue management will also look at ensuring the effective use of the limited funds generated as far as poverty reduction in the District is concerned. It will concern itself with revenue management within the assembly.
- To promote peace, security and disaster free and orderly development. This aspiration could be achieved through effective conflict management, transparency and improvement in the systems for safety and societal protection.
The goals here are to serve as the guiding principle in the implementation of the above listed development intentions and aspirations. These include the following:
Development Objectives and Strategies
- To improve gender equity and child right protection by developing social safety net and family status This focus area intends to substantially mainstream issues concerning gender, children and the marginalized in all development activities by all development actors.
- To enhance the empowerment of the physically challenged through strengthening of systems that protect the vulnerable and excluded. In the quest to equitably distribute the impact and consequences of development efforts in the entire District, the empowerment of the vulnerable and excluded becomes very imperative, hence, the essence of this development focus.
- To promote environmental protection and natural resource preservation. The rationale under this focus is the need to promote sustainable development and mutually beneficial livelihoods.
- To control and manage the incidence of HIV/AIDS and provide of support and care for PLWHIV/AIDS.Since the issue of the incidence of HIV/AIDS has attained development status, the need to mainstream the efforts at managing the pandemic in the District.
- To ensure spatial balance in development This is to promote equitable economic and social interactions in the District and with other districts in Ghana.
- To promote controlled physical development The motive here is to ensure effective public health and enhanced productivity.
Having formulated the development focus and the specific intentions for the medium term, this section focuses on the derivation of the development objectives and identification of the strategies that could be employed in the realization of the development goals. It anticipated that the development objectives and the strategies when comprehensively implemented would contribute substantially to the enlargement of income levels and distribution, improvement of the quality of human capital and promotion of effective decision- making in an environment of increased social mobilization and participation in governance as well efficient societal transformation.
As was the case for the formulation of the development focus and goal, the development objectives and strategies have been formulated along the pillars of the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy.
Refer to pdf file for tables below.