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Ghana Church Leaders Call for Agenda for National Development

FILE - Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama.

The Christian Council of Ghana has launched the “Ghana we want” agenda campaign to encourage the country’s leaders to come up with a 50-year national development program, says Rev. Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, General Secretary of the group.

“We have launched public awareness program just trying to engage government, engage civil society the need for us to have a long term planning for the development of our nation. It must be done, or else development remains firefighting; people come to office …and they want to do something quickly just to give impression that they’ve done their bit. But we must have a national dream,” said Opuni-Frimpong.

“Africa must keep dreaming and work towards that rather than responding to political manifestoes. If we are able to have a national agenda, then the political parties [that] come to power will be responding to the destination we have all designed for ourselves as a people,” he added.

Opuni-Frimpong said the Christian Council of Ghana, a faith-based institution, wants the country to have a common dream. And to achieve the goal, the council plans to work with other faith-based institutions including Muslim leaders, traditional rulers, business organizations and all political parties.

“That is what we intend achieving, we must start from somewhere. We hope government will bring [everybody] together for us to make input a non-partisan kind of exercise, so that when we finish we can all own that indeed this is the Ghana we want,” said Opuni-Frimpong.

He said his organization has so far received encouraging responses from Ghanaians about establishing a national agenda.

Some Ghanaians are concerned that politicians will co-opt the Christian Council’s “Ghana we want” public awareness in their campaigns for the 2016 general election.

Opuni-Frimpong agreed that national issues are often politicized. He however said that's the normal path in a democracy -- that all parties publicly debate the issue and that the parliament and president work together to create, and enact, a national vision.

“It’s been a very big challenge, but I believe we will get there,” said Opuni-Frimpong.

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