iWatch Africa has conducted a review of key government commitments in the 2017 Budget Statement ahead of the 2018 Budget Statement which is expected to be presented on Wednesday, 15th November, 2017 by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Attah.
Our review of the 2017 Budget Statement is specifically focused on three main sectors; education, health and job creation.
Below are five key commitments the government has failed to meet its own target after our assessment;
- One Village, One Dam (Job Creation)
The Government of Ghana in the 2017 Budget Statement promised to set in motion the ‘One village, One dam’ initiative, specifically rehabilitation of 65 Small Earth Dams in rural communities in Northern Ghana to contribute towards the One-Village One-Dam initiative in 2017.
iWatch Africa field assessment of this initiative has revealed that little progress has been made regarding government’s commitment to fulfilling its mandate as at November, 2017.
Though, the government confirmed that the initiative will begin in the Kpandai District of the Northern Region, no date was given as to when the project would commence.
The government in September, 2017 promised to build ten units of 300KW Biopower and 80 hectres of centre pivot irrigation dams in ten selected villages within the Kpandai District of the Northern Region.
- One District, One Factory (Job Creation)
The Minister of Finance in the 2017 Budget Statement noted that, “more than 50 Districts will start actual implementation of their enterprises by the end of the year, with the potential to generate about 80,000 direct and indirect jobs.”
Our review of the 1D1F policy suggests that government will miss its own target by over 46 district based factories.
Though government indicated that 234 business plans had been received and reviewed, iWatch Africa can confirm that only one project had been commenced as at November, 2017. The government commenced construction of the Ekumfi Fruits and Juices Company in August 2017 under this policy initiative.
- Promise to commence construction of 200 kindergartens beginning 2017 (Education);
In 2017, Government working with development partners, the private sector and Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in the education sector will commence the construction of 200 Kindergartens.
iWatch Africa can confirm budgetary allocation for this commitment, but our field assessment as at November 2017 indicated that government had not commenced the construction of these kindergartens.
- The 597-bed University of Ghana Teaching Hospital (Health)
To enable the achievement of equitable access to health care services, Government will continue work on the the 597-bed University of Ghana Teaching Hospital.
Construction of the facility started on March 12, 2011 and phase one was commissioned by Ex- President John Mahama. Phase 2 of the project is expected to add 350 beds to the already 650 beds to take the total number of beds to 1000. The current President, Akufo-Addo pledged to complete the second phase of the project beginning in 2017.
iWatch Africa visit to the site of the project revealed that work had stalled contrary to the commitment by government to begin work on the phase 2 of the project in 2017.
- Provision of modern canteens to 180 Day Senior High Schools across the country (Education)
To ensure the smooth delivery of one hot meal to students of Day Senior High Schools under the Free Senior High School programme, Government will provide modern canteen facilities to 180 Day Senior High Schools across the country.
Though government managed to launch the free Senior High School policy in September, 2017, it has failed to provide the modern canteen facilities to the 180 day Senior High Schools as promised in the 2017 Budget Statement.
iWatch Africa will present our assessment of the 2018 Budget Statement after it is presented by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta on Wednesday, 15th November, 2017.
More to follow.
Report by Gideon Sarpong | Policy and Content Analyst | iWatch Africa