Mr Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, on Friday said urban population in Ghana now out-number the capacity of local authorities to plan for growth and development of urban areas.
He said this had resulted into rapid growth of slums in cities and towns.
Mr Oppong-Fosu was speaking at the National Urban Forum (NUF) organised by the Ministry in Accra.
The forum is to sensitise participants on Ghana’s preparation towards the upcoming World Urban Forum in Colombia, and to ensure the country’s maximum participation.
The forum is under the theme: “Ghana Rising: Leveraging Urbanization for Inclusive and Equitable Development”.
He said the forum is also to engage stakeholders and equip them with the requisite skills needed to strategically network in order that the country tapped into good practices that would help to deepen the Ghana Urban Agenda.
Mr Oppong-Fosu said the theme was appropriate as I provided the opportunity to reflect on issues of equity and social inclusion as Ghana continued to move urban development forward.
He said equity underpinned the development agenda based on key elements such as participation, transparency, accountability, non-discrimination, empowerment, rule of law and social inclusion.
Mr Oppong-Fosu said the forum was an occasion for stimulating new ways of thinking and an opportunity to pursue discussions on equity related matters and help to define new strategies and objectives for integrating equity in the development agenda.
Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije, Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, said Ghana must begin to discuss urbanisation as a national issue so as to fashion out pragmatic and workable actions towards sustainable urban development.
He said the NUF would create the platform to extensively engage all stakeholders in robust dialogue on challenges and opportunities in Ghana’s urbanisation transformation.
Mrs Claudia Turbay Quintero, Colombian Ambassador, said Ghana and Colombia had signed memoranda of understanding on the development of the political and economic sectors of both countries.
She said this would lead to the development of many sectors in Ghana’s economy which would promote Public Private Partnership in both countries.
Mr Julius Debrah, Greater Accra Regional Minister and Chairman of the Forum, said nothing worked successfully without planning adding, “planning must be taken seriously for development”. GNA