THE Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has given an assurance that the first-ever Urban Development Policy being developed for the country will be completed by the end of June 2010.
Mr Kwadwo Yeboah, National Co-ordinator of the Urban Development Policy, told the Daily Graphic after the opening of a sensitisation workshop on the policy in Kumasi last Wednesday that in spite of some initial hiccups, the ministry was determined to carry out the programme as scheduled.
The comprehensive and coherent urban development policy, when completed, will replace the various sector-related urban policies that had guided the country’s urban development over the years.
The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development is undertaking the project in collaboration with other ministries, with financial support from the German Technical Co-operation (GTZ) as the main sponsors, and the World Bank, while the Institute of Social Statistical and Economic Research (ISSER) are the consultants.
Participants at the Kumasi workshop were drawn from the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) in the Ashanti and the Brong Ahafo regions.
Mr Yeboah said as a result of the multiplicity of urban policies for the various sectors of the country, urban development had not achieved much.
“It is, therefore, expected that something positive will come out of this new initiative,” he said.
Mr Yeboah said similar workshops had been organised in three other areas of the country to get the people understand what the policy meant to urban development.
He stated that as a result of the importance the ministry attached to the project, it had established an urban development unit within the policy directorate of the ministry in order to get the process going.
Addressing the workshop earlier, a Resource Person, Mr C.N.K. Boateng, said it was very important to include the local people in drafting development policies.
He said development planning concerned the people, and as such, they must be made to feel as being part of the whole process.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Officer of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mr Isaac Osei, spoke against the re-zoning of parks in urban centres into residential areas, saying the practice defeated the very purpose of urban planning.
He, therefore, stressed the need for environmental considerations to be taken seriously in development planning.
Present was the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Samuel Sarpong, and the Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Akwasi Oppong Ababio.