The Western Regional office of the National Population Council (NPC) has organized a one-day seminar on population and development planning for representatives of ministries, departments and agencies at Sekondi.
Speaking on the topic "The Integration of Population into Development Planning", Mr.
Benjamin Whyte, the Regional Population Officer, said effort towards socio-economic development should take into consideration the dynamics of the population.
He said population is a nation's most important resource for development but if human numbers are not managed within acceptable limits and the right qualities, it could frustrate development planning efforts and reverse any gains made.
Whyte said, "This is due to the inter-relatedness existing between the numbers and characteristics of the human population and socio-economic development".
He said population size, structure, spatial distribution and quality with respect to education, health and employment are affected by development planning processes.
Whyte said human cantered development planning, therefore, requires that these important population factors should be taken into account at all stages of development planning of the country.
Whyte said currently, the government's blueprint for development is the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) but considering that poverty varies by geographical area and sub-groups, an analysis of the population and its dynamics as to the extent of which they affect the overall programme should constitute the critical foundation of any poverty reduction programme.
He said at every level of planning, whether at the individual, community, district, regional and national level, development should be based on critical analysis of the population dynamics of the country or the area under study.
Whyte said, "In this way, development planning would be geared towards addressing the needs of the human population".
He said the country's 1969 Population Policy is acknowledged to be a well-written document whose tenets are even valid today but after 40 years of implementation not much could be said of population having been integrated into the country's development planning.
Whyte said a step in the right direction towards achieving the integration of population into development planning was the collaboration between the NPC with the Department of Planning of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to develop modules for use by some district assemblies.