Politics Wed, 4 Jun 2008

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Open debate on rural development for presidential candidates

Kwaso (Ash), June 4, GNA - Professor Sam Afrane, Dean of the Faculty of Planning and Land Economy of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has urged Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), civil society groups and other institutions to organise debates for the presidential candidates, to tell Ghanaians their programmes for rural development, when they win power in December polls. He said the time has come for politicians to tell Ghanaians the kind of measures they would put in place to eradicate the high level of poverty in the country, when Ghanaians give them the mandate. Prof Afrane was speaking on the topic, "Rural Development College: 25 years in Human Resource Development - The Way Forward" at the 25th annual graduation ceremony of the Rural Development College at Kwaso in the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality in Ashanti.

In all, 62 students graduated, and were awarded with diploma in rural community development in human resources. Prof Afrane noted that about 88,292 settlements representing 99.6 per cent of all settlements in Ghana as at the year 2000, were classified as rural, because their population was less than 5,000, which indicates clearly that Ghana is a rural country. He, however, said the back bone of the country's economy was determined by the productions from the rural people. He said most of the country's exports came from rural areas, "so the hour has come for the politicians to pay much attention to rural development."

Prof Afrane commended the current government for improving on human resource development, which was the cornerstone of its development policy.

He said "rural development must be viewed as a national development and it should not be left out of the current political debate and discussions in this year's elections".

Mr Osei Assibey Antwi, Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, entreated the graduates to be committed to serving the country with dedication and compassion, when they are employed.

Mr Issah Ayanaba, National Director of Community Development, said the government would do everything possible to improve the living standards of rural people.

The Principal of the college, Mr J.K. Bonye, appealed to the government to help improve facilities at the college to enable it to admit more students.

Source: GNA

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