Resilient infrastructure is needed to accelerate socio-economic development – Minister
Mr. Francis Asenso-Boakye, Minister of Public Works and Housing, said that quality and resilient infrastructure through effective planning is necessary to support the accelerated socio-economic development of the government.
If planned effectively, he said, infrastructure will promote economic growth and contribute to poverty reduction, reduce inequalities in income distribution in the country and facilitate the expansion of trade in the country. inside and outside.
This, he noted, required collaboration and engagement with policy makers and other professionals in the field of infrastructure provision as well as the development of effective infrastructure planning skills among planners. from the country.
The Minister of Public Works and Housing was speaking at the 50th Annual General Meeting and Conference of the Ghana Institute of Planners (GIP) on the theme “Accelerating National Development Through Effective Infrastructure Planning”.
The conference brought together members of the Institute from across the country to mainly take stock of their collective performance as an institute and elect new executives for the next Biennial.
He said the recent population and housing census showed that the country’s population had grown to around 30.8 million, with 57.35 percent living in urban centers with a housing deficit of more than two. million units, requiring the construction of homes to close this gap.
He said population growth requires the provision of infrastructure and amenities, including roads, electricity, schools, hospitals, waste management and water supply available to citizens and in all areas. sectors of the economy to maintain livelihoods,
Mr. Asenso Boakye said that despite the government’s achievements in infrastructure development, there was still a large gap between the country’s infrastructure demand and what was available.
Mr. Kojo Mensah-Abrampa, Director General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), said that the relevance of planning in the development framework of the country had not received due attention over the years, because the country had adopted “short answers” to infrastructure development.
He said the country’s development plans and infrastructure management should be interpreted and managed by people with full knowledge of what planning involves, adding that infrastructure development should be complementary to full use and management. careful consideration of the life cycle of the infrastructure.
“Whenever you think about infrastructure, think about the connectivity of the infrastructure, the multifunctionality of the infrastructure, the applicability, the integration, the diversity, the multiscale and the governance to include the private sector, continuity and skills acquisition, ”he said. underline.
Mr. Mohammed Alhassan, President of the Ghana Institute of Planners, said in his welcome speech that with a staff of around 1,000 planning professionals, GIP has promoted high standards of planning practice and was the voice of the country’s planning community since its inception in 1969..
He said that increasing population and unbalanced population densities come with challenges in providing infrastructure as demand continually exceeds supply, adding that despite infrastructure being the foundation nominal to accelerated development, there was historically a massive deficit in its supply.
He further observed that, despite years of decentralization and local governance, little progress had been made in terms of integrated infrastructure planning at the local level.
The president added that, as a result, private citizens have adopted self-help approaches, devoid of established development standards, to provide infrastructure without any prospect of cost sharing or reimbursement from local authorities.
The Minister of Public Works and Housing and six others were appointed Fellows of the Ghana Institute of Planners for their contribution to the planning profession in Ghana.