Government will soon come out with a Rural Development Policy Framework to effectively respond to challenges confronting rural communities in the country, the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has announced.
According to him, the new policy when outdoored, will serve as the single reference point for all ministries, departments and agencies whose activities and mandates had direct impact on the lives of people living in rural Ghana.
"Stakeholder consultations have been concluded and the policy which will receive cabinet approval will later be presented to Parliament for national consensus to be built around it. The focus of this policy is to achieve economic and social development of rural residents through the provision of opportunities," he emphasised.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah gave the announcement at the Ministry's weekly press briefings in Accra on Wednesday.
According to him, the new policy framework, the first of its kind to be developed for the country since 1972, was being undertaken through the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and it would ensure sustainability of government's flagship programmes for rural areas.
"One of the first attempts at a targeted rural development programme was in the 1970s during the tenure of Prime Minister Busia's government. The aim then was to increase agriculture production, accelerate rural industrialisation, liberalisation of the economy and promote domestic entrepreneurship."
He explained that the policy would not be a duplication of existing policy frameworks on rural development, but will rather seek to harmonise all the pieces of policies on rural development and provide a roadmap for the systematic resolution of rural challenges.
"The policy will provide a roadmap for systematically tackling issues such as high incidence of poverty, out migration, inadequate employment opportunities in rural areas, low investment in infrastructure, and high incidence of illiteracy and non-functioning sub-district structure," he added.
Mr Nkrumah said like that of 1970, the new policy would also focus on agriculture, social service provision, industrialisation, financial inclusion and skill development as drivers of change in rural areas, while utilising the potential of rural development to tackle issues that would deliver the desired conditions for rural growth and development.