When Development is Not Considerate: Development is multifaceted and dynamic especially when it enhances genuine national growth and progress. There are international indicators of a developed nation and these indicators are often used by the United Nations and its agencies. Literature, particularly from African indigenous groups, show that these indicators of development are often unipolar and do not reflect what an African country requires.
What is the writer driving at? The writer is seeking to call the attention of governments, particularly the government of Ghana to rethink our developmental model and in rolling out of government developmental agenda.
The first thought is that development must sink with an accounting of our natural resources. The government must take stock of our natural resources and link it with national developmental planning. How much of our natural resources could be tapped for specific developmental needs and aspirations?
We cannot hand over our natural resources for companies to explore without the nation having a foreknowledge about what is at stake. Natural resources harvesting based on such practices often leaves the host nation exploited and underdeveloped. Cases in point are the Gold mining processes in Ghana and also the Bauxite mining deal with the Chinese company at Atiwa, Eastern Region. Sustainable Development is always left unattended to as well as makes closer communities underdeveloped because of poor planning from the policy.
The environment has a carrying capacity to assimilate any disturbances on it. For instance, many are attributing the perennial flooding in major cities in Ghana to building on the waterways and poor disposal of refused to name a few. But, the writer thinks that this carnage on us stems from the disturbance on the carrying capacity of the environment.
We have deforested our country and such is a major reason for perennial flooding in major cities in Ghana. Invariably, cutting down of trees without a replacement could harm us more and more as a country. Back to the main issue, any meaningful development must be community-driven and youth focus.
The government must genuinely account for its Young generational strength, their potentials, training gap, and their resilient levels. Such is a holistic approach to considerate development. The policies with the mantra on the youth are “push down the throat” for which the youth are not adequately resourced to understand, contribute and better prepare to accept. Youth development is now a mantra without a clear direction to move the challenges of the youth beyond preconditions for take-off. Inconsiderate development of the youth policies leaves a scar on the permanent damage of youth growth and progress. What is next as a country? The youth should not be reserve labour for political party aggrandizement.
The nation must provide sincere resource accounting, human resources, capital resources, social resources and the likes. Development of Ghana must be domicile, refocus and must be sought genuinely.
The youth must demand accountability and CSOs must undertake social accountability and international bodies must encourage local developmental policies which are demand-driven.
Writer: Dr. Jamal Mohammed, executive director of Africa Development and Resources Research Institute.