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Prof. Sam Afrane Commends Government’s Policy on Rotation of Independence Day Celebration

Prof. Sam Afrane, President of Christian Service University College (CSUC), has observed that the policy to rotate Ghana’s
Independence Day celebrations from the usual Independence Square in Accra to the various regional capitals is an ‘innovative
policy for national development’.

Excerpt:
Ghana has been commemorating its Independence Day on every 6th March, since 1957, in the Nation’s Capital, Accra, until
2019 when the rotation of the celebration to the regional capitals began. As witnessed, Ghana marked its 62nd and 63rd
celebrations in the Northern Regional capital-Tamale and the Ashanti Regional capital-Kumasi respectively, under the
current Government.

The expert in Planning underscored how the move is seen as a means of significantly contributing to the socio-economic
development of the country. He added that the policy-shift holds a number of merits for the nation.

As a novelty, the celebrations signal a shift from the previous piecemeal and ad hoc approach to the development of
infrastructure in our regional capitals. This, he explained, offers major potential to promote regional balance and equity
in the allocation of resources for infrastructural development in the country.

He further observed that the policy offers a planned, systematic and intentional approach to developing urban infrastructure
outside the national capital which therefore presents the need for holistic planning in order to maximise the benefits associated
with the rotation. Conscious planning is important to define proper criteria for selecting the sequence of beneficiary Regional
capitals. He therefore advised that it would be necessary to apply the selection criteria and implementation of activities in a
transparent and participatory manner, leading to a queue of regional capitals waiting for their turn to plan and construct
infrastructure ahead of each celebration.

He emphasised the need for local people to be given sufficient space to play an active role in the planning and organisation
of programmes leading to the celebration to motivate them to mobilise their local financial resources and expertise to support
such development projects. It would also be appropriate to significantly involve the private sector in the planning and
implementation of the celebrations in the form of generation of ideas, financing, innovation, subcontracting, etc. This,
he suggested, would be in line with the principle of involving relevant stakeholders in the process.

As a special case, the rotation policy offers an opportunity to refurbish the defunct Regional Development Corporations and
task them to oversee and coordinate the planning and implementation process of this initiative to ensure long-term sustainability,
he further observed.

Prof. Afrane congratulated the government for introducing this development-oriented policy initiative which he believes has
gained apparent vote of confidence in that “we as a nation have discovered another suitable catalyst to mobilise the critical
masses of our people and invigorate our efforts at sustainable development”. If this new model of developing our regional
capitals continues for the next 20 years, one could imagine the extent of development the nation would achieve. ‘The time to
utilize this potential is now’, he stressed.

 

Report by: Anastasia Cudjoe Erzuah, Institutional Advancement Office, CSUC

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