GHANA.  National Population Policy, 1994.  (National Population Policy [Revised Edition, 1994], Accra, Ghana, National Population Council, 1994. 56 p.)




The Government of Ghana issued a definitive policy on population in March 1969.  This document, entitled "Population Planning for National Progress and Prosperity:  Ghana Population Policy," not only defined Government's policy on population but also affirmed Government's commitment to adopt and implement appropriate strategies and programmes to manage population resources in a manner consistent with Government's ultimate objective of accelerating the pace of economic modernisation and improving the quality of life of Ghanaians.


Some twenty-five years after this policy was first promulgated, the country's rate of population growth still remains at an unacceptably high level, and the population factor continues to act as a serious impediment to the country's march towards economic modernisation, sustainable development and eradication of poverty.


The reasons for this are complex and diverse.  It has therefore become imperative that policy makers take a critical look at the original policy document to redefine or clarify its objectives, institute measures or programmes to correct present inadequacies in implementation strategies, and to re-emphasize the basic principles and goals which the earlier population policy set out to achieve.


Another important rationale for undertaking the revision of the 1969 document is the emergence of new concerns which attracted very little or no attention in the past either because some, such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) were then not known or others, such as teenage pregnancy, pollution, degradation of the environment and drug abuse were not perceived as serious societal problems.


This revised population policy is in many ways a remarkable document, principally because it presents an innovative experiment in grassroots participation in policy formulation.  The main tenets, principles, strategies and programmes enunciated in this document emerged through debates, discussions and consultations with a wide spectrum of institutions and individual Ghanaians from all walks of life and from every part of the country.


The Policy represents therefore the collective will of the people and the expression of their determination and commitment to the principle that a well-managed population resource is a fundamental requirement for sustainable development.


The progress and prosperity of our country and of future generations therefore depend to a great extent on how we as a people dedicate ourselves to the achievement of the objectives and goals enunciated in this policy.


I therefore urge every citizen, and all the institutions and agencies, both Governmental and non-Governmental, which are involved in the implementation of this policy to work collectively together to ensure that the nation attains the targets specified in the policy document.


On my own behalf and that of my Government, I pledge our wholehearted support and commitment to the principles, goals and objectives of the revised National Population Policy.


It is my privilege and honour to recommend this revised Policy to the people of Ghana.


* * *


4.0     National Population Policy Goals, Objectives and Targets


4.1     The 1969 Population Policy in Retrospect


After more than two decades of the 1969 Population Policy, the limited evidence available suggests that Ghana's population programme has made only modest gains.  One major long-term objective was to reduce the population growth rate from nearly 3 per cent in 1969 to 1.7 per cent by the year 2000.  In 1993, only seven years to the target date, the rate of growth is still around 3.0 per cent, and the results of the 1993 GDHS show only a moderate decline of the TFR to 5.5.


Several factors account for the poor performance of the 1969 policy.  The absence of a well-articulated and co-ordinated institutional machinery to translate policy objectives into programmable action plans has been identified as one of the most serious constraints to the success of the 1969 policy.


Other factors are inadequate knowledge about population and development interrelationships, inadequate funding and the absence of community participation and support at the grassroots level.


4.2     Population Policy Goals


The following are the goals of the revised population policy:


4.2.1    A national population policy and programme are to be developed as organic parts of social and economic planning and development activity.  Programmes are to be formulated through the collaborative participation of national, regional and district entities, both public and private, and representatives of all relevant professions, agencies, institutions and organisations.


4.2.2    Measures will be taken to improve the standards of living and the quality of life of the people.  To this end, policies will be pursued to alleviate mass poverty among the people and enhance the welfare of the population at large.


4.2.3    The vigorous pursuit of programmes to reduce further the very high rates of morbidity and mortality and the promotion of reproductive and sexual health generally for all including adolescents will be an important aspect of population policy and programmes.


4.2.4    Recognizing the crucial importance of a wide understanding of the deleterious effects of unlimited population growth and the means by which couples can safely and effectively control their fertility, Government will vigorously promote as well as encourage others to undertake programmes to provide information, advice and assistance to couples wishing to space or limit their reproduction.  These programmes will be voluntary rather than coercive.


4.2.5    Steps will be taken to promote the health and welfare of mothers and children especially through preventing premature illness, unsafe abortions and premature deaths.


4.2.6    Measures will be instituted by Government in collaboration with traditional authorities and other interested organisations or institutions to enhance the status of women in society.  This will be done through a wide range of measures such as the elimination of all discriminatory laws and cultural practices which are inimical to the general well-being and self-esteem of women; to promote wider productive and gainful employment for women; to increase the proportion of females entering and completing at least senior secondary school; to develop a wider range of non-domestic roles for women; and to examine the structure of Government conditions of employment and if necessary change them in such ways as to minimize their pro-natalist effects.


4.2.7    Government will adopt policies and establish programmes to guide the spatial distribution of population in the interest of development.  Such policies will in part be geared towards a more even distribution of population between urban and rural and        within urban and rural areas.


4.2.8    Government will adopt policies and embark upon programmes to ensure the best possible parental maintenance and care of children.  This will involve programmes to improve the education, health, and income-earning capacity of parents, especially mothers.  Legislation and other measures will also be adopted to prevent all forms of child abuse and eliminate socio-cultural practices which are particularly harmful to the girl child.


4.2.9    Policies will be adopted to ensure the adequate upkeep and full integration of the aged and persons with disabilities into the society and facilitate the adoption of children.  For persons with disabilities, the policies will spell out ways of creating opportunities for them to contribute their quota towards national development and thereby enhance their chances of leading normal lives.  To this end the Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) concept evolved by the World Health Organization (WHO) will be vigorously propagated and implemented.  Appropriate policy environment will also be created to enable the aged [to] feel secure and useful in society.


4.2.10    The Government will institute a land classification scheme to delineate vulnerable environments for protection.  Land management policies which will facilitate sustainable economic growth based on [a] new assessment of carrying capacity as well as development and promotion of technologies to protect the environmental resources of the country will also be pursued.  The Ghana Environmental Action Plan of 1990 which includes Environmental Impact Assessment would be vigorously implemented.  In view of the immense benefits that can be derived from solar energy, appropriate research will be conducted into its extensive utilisation wherever possible.


4.2.11      Government and Parliament will amend or repeal those laws that are inimical to the policy as well as promulgate or amend favourable ones so as to strengthen their effectiveness in assisting the implementation of the policy.


4.2.12    Measures will be taken to promote the equality of all citizens under the law and create equal opportunities for all under the law.


4.2.13    Measures will be taken to strengthen the institutional capabilities of the National Population Council and the National Development Planning Commission to promote integrated population and development planning and programming at national, regional and district levels.


4.2.14    Government will continue to establish and maintain regular contact with the development and management of population programmes throughout the world through intensified relationships with international public and private organizations concerned with population issues.


4.3     Population Policy Objectives


In pursuit of the above goals, the Population Policy for Ghana shall adopt the following objectives:


4.3.1    To ensure that population issues are systematically integrated in all aspects of development planning and activity at all levels of the administrative structure.


4.3.2    To enhance integrated rural and urban development in order to improve living conditions, particularly in the rural areas, and to moderate and re-orient inter-regional as well as rural-urban migration, including the establishment of growth centres.  Programmes to alleviate poverty both in the rural and urban areas would be vigorously pursued.



4.3.4    To promote, clarify and sharpen the awareness and understanding among opinion leaders and the public at large of population issues and the implications of rapid population growth.


4.3.5    To provide the population with the necessary information and education on the value of a small family size specifically, and sexual and reproductive health in general.


4.3.6    To ensure accessibility to, and affordability of, family planning means and services for all couples and individuals to enable them [to] regulate their fertility.


4.3.7    To educate the youth on population matters which directly affect them such as sexual relationships, fertility regulation, adolescent health, marriage and child bearing, in order to guide them towards responsible parenthood and small family sizes.


4.3.8    To provide fertility management programmes that will respond to the needs of sterile and sub-fertile couples to achieve satisfactory self-fulfilment.


4.3.9    To educate the general population on the need to conserve the environment as well as promote environmental quality.


4.3.10    To promote sound social welfare programmes that would take care of the special needs of the youth, the aged, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups.


4.3.11    To develop programmes aimed at the empowerment of women to increase their participation in the modern sector, engage in income-generating activities, and enhance their economic well-being generally.


4.3.12    To integrate family planning services into maternal and child health care services so as to reduce infant, child and maternal morbidity and mortality.


4.3.13    To educate the general population about the causes, consequences and prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.


4.3.14    To ensure that the Law Reform Commission, Parliament and other law-making agencies are well sensitized on population issues so that the law will serve as an effective instrument for promoting the objectives of the Population Policy.


4.3.15    To achieve a more even distribution of the population between rural and urban areas, and to monitor international migration.


4.3.16    To stem the "brain-drain" of professionals and other skilled people leaving the country.


4.4     Population Policy Targets


The main targets for the population policy are:


4.4.1    To reduce the total fertility rate (i.e., the number of children a woman is likely to have during her reproductive years) from 5.5 to 5.0 by the year 2000, 4.0 by 2010 and 3.0 by 2020.  The policy will accordingly aim at achieving a Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) of 15 per cent for modern methods by the year 2000, 28 per cent by 2010 and 50 per cent by 2020.


4.4.2    To reduce the present annual population growth rate of about 3 per cent to 1.5 per cent by 2020.


4.4.3    To reduce the proportion of women who marry before the age of 18 years by 50 per cent by the year 2000 and by 80 per cent by the year 2020.


4.4.4    To reduce the proportion of women below 20 years and above 34 years having births to 50 per cent by the year 2010 and to 80 per cent by 2020.


4.4.5    To increase the coverage of supervised deliveries to 80 per cent of all expected deliveries by 2010.


4.4.6    To achieve minimum birth spacing of at least two years for all birth intervals by the year 2020.


4.4.7    To increase the proportion of 15 - 19 year old female[s] with secondary and more education to 50 per cent by the year 2005 and to 80 per cent by 2020.


4.4.8    To achieve full immunization for 80 per cent of infants (0-11 months) by the year 2020.


4.4.9    To reduce the infant mortality rate from its current level of about 66 infant deaths per 1,000 live births to 44 in 2005 and to 22 in 2020.


4.4.10    To reduce the maternal mortality rate from its estimated current level of about 220 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by 75 per cent by the year 2020.


4.4.11    To increase life expectancy of the population from its current level of about 58 years to 65 years by the year 2010 and to 70 years by 2020.


4.4.12    To make family planning services available, accessible and affordable to at least half of all adults by the year 2020.


5.0     Implementation Strategies


Efforts shall be made to ensure the integration of population variables in all aspects of national development planning and programmes within the context of the national decentralization policy.  In order to realise the goals, objectives and targets set by the Policy the following implementation strategies shall be pursued.


5.1     Maternal and Child Health (MCH)


The main thrust of strategies in the area of MCH will be to reduce the high infant, childhood and maternal morbidity and mortality rates, especially in the rural and sub-urban areas, using the most cost-effective strategies within the context of the Primary Health Care programme.


5.1.1    Safe motherhood programmes will be expanded and implemented to help reduce the incidence of high risk births which occur below the age of 20 years, over the age of 35 years, at intervals less than two years and among women who have already had four or more births.


5.1.2    Government shall accelerate immunization, oral rehydration therapy, birth spacing, breastfeeding and other child survival strategies in collaboration with the private sector, NGOs and donor agencies.


5.1.3    Infant/Child and maternal morbidity and mortality are related to the mother's level of education and other socio-economic factors such as income levels.  Government shall intensify efforts to raise the educational level of females through both formal and non-formal means and the economic status of women through viable schemes and integrated programmes.


5.1.4    MCH policies and programmes will be implemented as integral parts of a broad-based strategy of promoting reproductive and sexual health of all including adolescents.


5.2     Family Planning and Fertility Regulation


A wide gap exists between the high knowledge of family planning and low contraceptive practice as revealed by both the Ghana Fertility Survey of 1970-80 and the 1988/1993 Ghana Demographic and Health Surveys.  Current maternal and child health activities shall be expanded to provide much wider availability of family planning services.  In addition to Government efforts, the capability of private participating agencies and community-based family planning activities shall be improved and expanded.


5.2.1    In view of the current low mean age of 18 years at first marriage for females, national programmes, especially through education, shall aim at raising the age at first marriage to at least 20 years.


5.2.2    Government shall ensure the availability and accessibility of family planning services to all who seek such services at affordable prices and on a voluntary basis.


5.2.3    Family planning services shall continue to include services to sterile and sub-fertile couples as well as individuals who wish to have children to achieve self-fulfilment.


5.2.4    Family Planning Programmes shall make available a variety of methods of fertility regulation to ensure free and conscious choice by all.  The activities of family planning clinics and commercial distribution outlets shall be intensified at national, regional and district levels.


5.2.5    Special attention shall be paid to educating and motivating the population at community level on the health, social and demographic values of family planning.


5.2.6    Where possible, family planning education shall be incorporated into both formal and informal training programmes.


5.2.7    Special emphasis on IEC programmes shall be provided to reach the male population in their homes, clubs and associations on the health, social and economic hazards of prolific child bearing and on the need of the male population to assume greater responsibility for the upkeep of their wives and children.  Family planning services specifically directed at male clients shall be vigorously pursued.


5.2.8    Family planning programmes shall be made more responsive to local cultural values and individual couples' preferences.


5.2.9    Efforts shall be made to improve planning, funding and management of agencies devoted to family planning for more effective implementation of maternal and child health as well as family planning programmes.


5.2.10    Efforts shall be made to link plans with budgets to consolidate existing service capacities, to co-ordinate manpower planning and training, to mobilize additional domestic and external resources and to improve cost effectiveness, the monitoring and the evaluation of the family planning programme.


5.3     Health and Welfare


The following strategies shall be adopted to promote the health and welfare of Ghanaians:


5.3.1    The reduction of mortality shall be pursued along with programmes designed to reduce fertility.  Emphasis shall be placed on environmental health and on health promotion and protection as enunciated in the Primary Health Care System adopted by Government in 1979.


5.3.2    The vigorous implementation of a National Health Policy shall be pursued.  The implementation of the Primary Health Care System as the main focus of health care delivery in Ghana shall be intensified.  Maximum community participation in the formulation and management of health services shall be promoted.


5.3.3    Health policies and programmes shall continue to be integrated into sectors such as education, agriculture, employment, urban/rural and regional planning.


5.3.4    Steps shall be taken to ensure an equitable distribution of health facilities, services and personnel throughout Ghana.


5.3.5    Efforts will be made to improve harvesting, storage, processing and distribution of food crops to ensure adequate nutritional status for all segments of the population.


5.3.6    To collaborate with appropriate environmental health related agencies to develop programmes for the provision of safe community water supplies, safe disposal of solid and liquid wastes, for the provision of good housing, the improvement of food hygiene and the development of programmes for the monitoring and control of environmental pollution.


5.3.7    To promote tt to community levels and to strengthen planning, monitoring and evaluation of integrated health services at all levels.


5.3.9    To develop appropriate logistic support and supply systems to ensure adequate quantities of drugs and equipment for health services at all times.


5.3.10    To review, revise and enact appropriate legislative measures for health and to promote inter-sectoral co-ordination and co-operation in health matters.


5.3.11    To develop effective and efficient systems for the surveillance, prevention and control of communicable diseases of social and economic significance, including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).  The National AIDS Control Programme shall continue to be vigorously implemented through intensified nationwide public education activities at all levels.


5.4     Food and Nutrition


Agricultural production has barely kept pace with the demands of an increasing population.  As a result poor nutrition is widespread throughout the country.


5.4.1    Steps shall be taken to strengthen, promote and sustain increased food production and land productivity through the introduction of appropriate high-yielding, quick maturing and disease-resistant plant strains and animal breeds, in order to enhance the nutritional status of the population.


5.4.2    To stimulate agricultural production through better pricing and marketing and incentives systems.


5.4.3    To promote the use of appropriate technology at all levels of production, processing, storage, and distribution, and to ensure food security at household, community and national levels.


5.4.4    To integrate family life education into agricultural extension services.


5.4.5    To promote the development of appropriate programmes for reducing the incidence and prevalence of nutritional disorders.


5.4.6    Efforts shall be made to provide systematic education on food and nutrition in all institutions of learning.  Special attention shall be paid to the needs of children, pregnant women, lactating mothers, the aged, and persons with disabilities.


5.4.7    To evolve and implement a comprehensive food and nutrition policy that takes cognisance of the wide-ranging needs of various segments of the population, especially the poor.


5.5     Education


The role of education in socio-economic development and in changing individual attitudes and behaviour cannot be overemphasized.  For the educational sector the following strategies shall be pursued:


5.5.1    Subject to the availability of resources, free and compulsory universal basic education shall be provided.  Policies and programmes that encourage girls to continue schooling up to at least the secondary school level will be vigorously pursued.


5.5.2    Special programmes shall be developed to improve the low enrollment rate as well as reduce the high school drop-out rate through practical and technical training that will provide ample opportunities for gainful self-employment.


5.5.3    Population and family life education shall be incorporated into formal, informal and out-of-school training to prepare the youth for responsible parenthood.


5.5.4    Efforts will be made to promote adult education as well as basic and functional literacy with a bias towards the maintenance of family values, reproductive health, population and development interrelationships.


5.6     Empowerment of Women


Women play an important role in the socio-economic development of this country.  To further encourage the full participation of women in national development, the following actions shall be pursued:


5.6.1    (a)    Strategies shall be evolved to ensure an improvement in the status of women through the removal of various traditional, legal, administrative and cultural barriers to their effective participation in nation building.


(b)   Programmes shall be pursued to improve and protect the legal rights of women.  All forms of discrimination against women shall be eliminated as provided for in international conventions to which Ghana is a signatory .


(c)    Negative traditional gender norms and customs shall be reviewed and where necessary, abolished.  This will be done through the Houses of Chiefs, religious leaders, opinion leaders, community elders and other concerned groups and institutions.


(d)   Programmes shall be introduced for the removal of deep-seated gender discrimination tendencies through an intensive awareness programme for all policy-makers and for the population at large.


(e)    Laws made to protect the interests of women, such as those relating to Intestate Succession (PNDC Laws 111-114), shall be periodically reviewed and amended to enhance the well-being and rights of women.


5.6.2    Day-care centres for nursing mothers shall be provided at all vantage points in all sectors of the economy and especially in the urban areas.


5.6.3    Programmes to reduce the heavy burden of work of rural women shall include the introduction of appropriate labour-saving technology in agriculture, industry and in the home.


5.6.4    Training programmes shall be set up for women in such ventures as domestic and village crafts, agro-based and small-scale industries to foster women's economic development and to introduce them to the use of technological tools.


5.6.5    Affirmative action programmes shall be introduced where necessary to guarantee equal and equitable opportunities for both the sexes in education, employment, housing and business.


5.6.6    Publicity campaigns shall be made to arouse awareness of the public about the hazards of high fertility and high-risk pregnancies in women.


5.6.7    Programmes shall be established to ensure better data collection and utilization of women's economic contribution to the development of Ghana.


5.6.8    Systematic attempts will be made in both public and private sectors to discourage economic and financial policies that encourage large family sizes.


5.6.9    To discourage the unrestricted growth of families, the following employment policies as contained in the 1969 Policy will still apply but shall be faithfully implemented:


(a)    Paid maternity leave will be granted only when the applicant has served for at least one year.


(b)   The number of paid maternity leaves will be limited to three during the entire working life of those affected and no payment will be made in respect of any number of leaves beyond this limit.


(c)    Children's allowances paid to Government officers will be limited to three only, and this will apply to all officers irrespective of whether they reside in or outside Ghana.  Government responsibility for payment of travelling expenses of officers' children will be limited to three.


5.7   The Role of Men in Family Welfare


In Ghana men have traditionally been regarded as the bread winners in their families; as such, the extent to which men live up to their responsibilities will, to a great measure, determine the welfare of families in this country.  To encourage men to promote the welfare of their families the following strategies shall be adopted:


5.7.1    Programmes shall be designed and implemented to promote awareness among men of their responsibility for the adequate care of their families.


5.7.2    Adolescent male youth and adult male clients will be specifically targeted in the provision of family planning and IEC services.


5.7.3    Efforts will be made to sensitize men on the promotion of the health of their spouses and children, so that the men will act as models of change by encouraging the utilization of family health services and discouraging negative socio-cultural practices.


5.7.4    Further boost will be given to on-going campaigns for households to cultivate food and cash crops to ensure food security and financial self-reliance in the home.  Even in the urban areas, small-scale schemes which permit households to supplement their nutritional requirements or incomes will be encouraged.


5.8     Children and Youth


In Ghana children (0-9 years) and young people (10-25 years) constituted about 64 per cent of the population in 1984.  The revised National Population Policy places emphasis on the following:  education and training; employment; family life education; recreation; and the general welfare of children and youth.  Appropriate strategies shall be put in place to address the special needs of children and the youth.


5.8.1    Employment and income generation programmes shall be set up to enhance the income capacity of parents and guardians, especially mothers, in order to promote better child care and maintenance.


5.8.2    Educational and vocational training facilities will be expanded to ensure adequate preparation for more economic productive and social life for the youth within the family and the society at large.


5.8.3    Counselling, IEC and, where necessary, family planning services will be offered to various categories of adolescents in order to minimise problems relating to sexual and reproductive health, early marriage or parenthood and teenage pregnancies.


5.8.4    Steps will be taken to set up or strengthen existing community-based and other appropriate support programmes for the displaced, homeless street children, orphans, and delinquents.


5.8.5    Laws will be enacted, or where such laws already exist they will be enforced, to enhance the rights and access of children and youth to education, health, and employment.


5.9     The Aged and Persons with Disabilities


The aged and persons with disabilities form an important segment of the Ghanaian population.  The following actions shall, therefore, be taken to promote the full integration of the aged and persons with disabilities in all aspects of national life:


5.9.1    Deliberate measures shall be taken to alleviate the special problems of the aged and persons with disabilities with regard to low incomes and unemployment.


5.9.2    A National Co-ordinating Committee on Disability shall be established to co-ordinate integrated programmes for the rehabilitation and integration of the disabled into society and for the creation of opportunities for their full participation in development.


5.9.3    Campaigns will be made to enhance public awareness about the needs of the aged and people with disabilities within the traditional family set up.


5.9.4    Laws pertaining to the rights of the aged and the disabled will be enacted or, where they already exist, will be enforced.


5.9.5    Assistance will be provided to organisations devoted to the well-being of the elderly and disabled.


5.10     Population and Law


Although it has been difficult to enact legislation to enforce the population policy, certain strategies still need to be put in place to promote the general welfare of the people.


5.10.1    Appropriate legal measures shall be taken to protect and support the family which is the basic unit of the society, and protect the rights of the more vulnerable members of the family units such as children, the divorced and widowed.


5.10.2    Strong links shall be established between law-making, population activities and social research to ensure that laws and population programmes are not only rooted in our culture but are also socially responsive to the needs of the people.


5.10.3    Law enforcement agencies and social welfare services shall be strengthened through the provision of equipment and adequately trained and well-motivated personnel to enforce laws dealing with the welfare and security of citizens.


5.10.4    Appropriate measures shall be taken to ensure that all Ghanaians are registered and issued with identity cards.


5.11     Population Information, Education, Communication and Motivation (PIEC & M)


Information, Education, Communication & Motivation (IEC & M) constitute a key component of population programmes and the success of the implementation of the policy will largely depend on the effectiveness of these programmes.  The following strategies shall be put in place to address all aspects of IEC & M activities including audience analysis, message development, monitoring, evaluation and inter-personal communication analysis in order to stimulate changes in behaviour and attitudes towards the basic population concerns.


5.11.1    A national communication policy shall be developed with Population IEC & M as an integral part of it.


5.11.2    Measures shall be taken to involve potential beneficiaries in the designing, planning and implementation of IEC & M activities and programmes.


5.11.3    Steps will be taken to promote both the persuasive and advocacy approaches in the development of IEC & M programmes.


5.11.4    PIEC&M shall be integrated into all sectors of development planning and activity.


5.11.5    Materials in local languages will be produced to implement IEC & M activities tailored to local needs.  The needs of special target groups such as men, adolescents and illiterates will also be addressed.


5.11.6    Population information networks and data banks shall be established to provide [a] data base for project formulation, implementation and evaluation and for the collation and dissemination of information on population and related development issues to potential users at local and national levels.


5.11.7    There shall be mobile film units, radio, television and newspapers at community information centres which will be set up for the purpose.


5.11.8    Steps will be taken to promote the use of traditional media such as concert parties and folk drama for inter-personal communication reinforcement.


5.12     Internal Migration and Spatial Distribution of the Population


In order to address the issues of rapid urbanisation and uneven population distribution and their impact on resource utilization, the following strategies shall be implemented:


5.12.1    Improving rural economies by promoting cottage industries such as handicraft, small-scale enterprises and agro-allied industries to stimulate balanced development.


5.12.2    Ensuring optimum utilization of land by promoting balanced regional and district development and appropriate land tenure systems that support sustainable development.


5.12.3    Instituting appropriate measures to create an attractive environment in the rural areas to encourage people to stay there and simultaneously instituting disincentive measures to discourage over-concentration of both public and private developments in the main urban centres.


5.12.4    Promoting the development of a comprehensive urban policy and encouraging the development of medium-sized towns to enhance the economic interdependence between urban and rural areas.


5.12.5    Encouraging citizens both within and outside the country to participate fully in the development of their home areas by providing both material and financial assistance.


5.12.6    Encouraging frontier settlements in the Afram Plains, Sefwi-Wiawso area and the Oncho-Freed Zones in Northern Ghana, Brong-Ahafo and Volta Regions.


5.12.7    Instituting appropriate measures to ensure that whenever people are internally displaced for one reason or the other such as through natural disasters or armed conflicts, such persons are protected, resettled, rehabilitated or assisted to integrate into society as early as possible.


5.13     International Migration


5.13.1    Laws and other procedural rules governing immigration and emigration shall be periodically reviewed and updated to ensure that these are in consonance with contractual obligations under international agreements, and that the migration flows do not adversely affect the nation's manpower and other developmental needs.  Exchange of experts and other skilled personnel, which promotes south to south co-operation within the framework of bilateral or multilateral agreements, will receive special attention.


5.13.2    The Government will co-operate, negotiate and liaise with other national Governments and international agencies to ensure that the lives, properties and rights of its nationals who travel to, reside or work in other countries, whether temporarily or permanently, are fully protected in accordance with the laws, norms and conventions of international practice.


5.13.3    Refugees, displaced persons and immigrants lawfully domiciled in Ghana shall be accorded the full protection of the law within the framework of internationally accepted laws, protocols and conventions.  Where such displaced persons or refugees have to be housed or settled for extended periods at selected localities, measures must be taken to ensure that such arrangements do not result in long-term damage to the environment, and that the interests of the receiving communities and the nation at large are at all times duly protected.


5.13.4    Government will adopt measures and promote incentive schemes which will facilitate the voluntary return of highly skilled emigrants and their eventual integration into the national economy in order to promote rapid socio-economic development.


5.13.5    Government will adopt fiscal and legislative policies or rules which will ensure that the nation as a whole, and more specifically the communities or families from which emigrants originate, derive maximum benefit from the financial and other resources transferred periodically by the emigrants.


5.14     Environmental Programmes


Sustainable development is the goal of environmental policy in Ghana.  Rapid population growth has an adverse effect on the environment through over-use and misuse of natural resources.  In order to address these problems the following measures shall be pursued:


5.14.1    The Environmental Action Plan of 1990 shall be faithfully implemented.


5.14.2    A Government land classification scheme to delineate vulnerable environments for the protection of the coastline, steep slopes, river banks and sacred groves should be introduced.


5.14.3    There should be a development and promotion of technologies to facilitate the sustainability of the environmental resources of the country.


5.14.4    There should be land management policies to facilitate sustainable economic growth based on new assessments of carrying capacity.


5.14.5    Industrial timber plantations should be established to provide raw materials for Ghana's paper and pulp, brick and tile, charcoal and other related industries.


5.14.6    A systematic programme to develop alternative sources of energy supply especially for domestic use, such as solar energy [and] biogas from animal and human waste, should be developed.  This will also include greater utilization of sawmill residues, agricultural waste for fuel-wood, charcoal-making and sawdust briquettes.


5.14.7    A fund shall be established for reparation or clean-up exercises to which polluting and related industries shall make regular contributions.


5.14.8    Environmental impact assessment and protective measures shall be undertaken by all new industries before actual operations start.


5.14.9    There will be preparation, adoption and enforcement of national sanitation guidelines for the management of safer drinking water, refuse collection, street cleaning, transport and disposal of solid and liquid waste, especially in the urban centres, should be pursued.


5.14.10    Adequate places of convenience at vantage points shall be provided in urban centres to promote environmental sanitation.


5.15     Housing Strategies


Rapid urbanization has contributed to the worsening of the housing situation especially in the urban areas and has also given rise to soaring rents, overcrowding, squatting and building of unauthorized structures.  In the rural areas the quality of housing is poor and has deteriorated further over time.


The following measures shall be adopted:


5.15.1    Review and promote implementation of a national housing policy.


5.15.2    Create an enabling environment in which households, firms, NGOs and community groups can operate effectively and efficiently to provide decent, affordable shelter as a means of promoting social development and improving the quality of life.


5.15.3    Encourage, support and sustain research into all aspects of housing, including the use of local materials, building designs and appropriate technology.


5.15.4    Foster a healthy housing finance environment to encourage private participation and community initiative in housing finance development.


5.16     Poverty Alleviation


Rapid population growth has tended to make it more difficult for poverty alleviation efforts to have the desired impact on the quality of life of the people.  Strategies shall be put in place to enhance programmes already in existence to alleviate poverty.


5.16.1    Efforts shall be made to promote, develop and sustain the informal sector to play a vital role in employment generation and thereby contribute to the alleviation of poverty.


5.16.2    Programmes shall be developed to alleviate the suffering of the rural and urban poor, and other specially disadvantaged groups within the society.


5.16.3    A National Health Insurance Scheme shall be implemented to ensure that the majority of the population, including the poor, have access to good medical care.


5.17     Labour Force and Employment


The building of a strong and viable economy depends to a large extent on the quality of its labour force.  To ensure the maximum utilisation of its human resources in productive ventures the following strategies shall be pursued:


5.17.1    Adopting and implementing a comprehensive manpower and employment planning policy which takes cognisance of the needs of both the public and private sectors.


5.17.2    Emphasizing and promoting vocational and technical education tailored to job creation and the needs of the labour market.


5.17.3    Strengthening and developing technical, managerial, and entrepreneurial skills.


5.17.4    Reactivating vocational guidance and counselling in educational institutions.


5.17.5    Promoting measures and programmes that enhance the capacity of women to operate more independently and effectively in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy.


5.17.6    Enhancing productivity as well as staff training in the public service.


5.17.7    Mitigating the adverse effects of the structural adjustment programme by retraining and resettling laid-off workers.


5.17.8    Enforcing labour laws which protect the security, health and welfare not only of workers, but also of the environment and general population.


5.17.9    Integrating family life education, where feasible, into employment activities.


5.18     Data Collection and Analysis, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation


The importance of reliable and timely collection of demographic data for formulation, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes cannot be overemphasized.  The following strategies shall be pursued:


5.18.1    Ensuring timely collection, processing, analysis and dissemination of data to policy makers, planners and the public at large.


5.18.2    Strengthening the capacity of Ghana Statistical Service, documentation centres, training and research institutions, the National Population Council Secretariat, and the Ministerial, Regional and District Planning Units to collect, analyse and disseminate population and other relevant statistical data.


5.18.3    Training more personnel in the field of data collection, analysis, and research to upgrade the national research capability in population and development.


5.18.4    Facilitating in-service training in techniques of integrated population and development planning through seminars and workshops for planners and implementers.


5.18.5    Establishing a forum for population data producer-user communication.


5.18.6    Reviewing, enacting and enforcing laws governing the registration of vital events, especially marriages, births and deaths, and providing the necessary logistics, and establishing data collection centres at district and sub-district levels.


5.18.7    Establishing a management information network system including a data bank to support all population activities.


5.19     Training and Institutional Capacity Building


The availability of trained personnel for all components of the population policy is a pre-requisite for its successful implementation.  The following training strategies will be put in place to ensure the successful implementation of the Population Policy:


5.19.1    A National Population Training Centre shall be established.


5.19.2    There will be established a comprehensive human resource/manpower policy for the recruitment, training, remuneration, retention and usage of staff working on the population programme.


5.19.3    There will be an intensive training of population and health related development personnel in the local and regional educational institutions to promote national self-sufficiency and execution of programmes.


5.19.4    Programmes will be devised for the in-service training of public servants on population matters.


5.20     Resource Mobilization


As part of overall development policy, the implementation of the population policy requires financial and technical support both from internal and external resources.  Population programmes have therefore to compete with other sectors for the very limited resources available to the nation.  The following strategies for resource mobilization, co-ordination and utilization shall be implemented:


5.20.1    Government shall make available to the National Population Council (NPC) the necessary resources to enable it to function effectively.


5.20.2    All sector ministries, departments and district administrations shall incorporate in their annual budgetary estimates components for population programmes.


5.20.3    District Assemblies and Communities shall be involved in the mobilization of resources.


5.20.4    Government shall provide guidelines for mobilising external assistance for population programmes to ensure proper coordination and maximum utilization of resources to enhance programme impact at national, sectoral and district levels.


6.0     Institutional Framework


6.1     The implementation of the Population Policy requires, inter-alia, a sound institutional framework for the translation of goals, objectives and strategies into actual programmes at national, sectoral and district levels.  It also requires political commitment and support.  Further, the effective implementation of the Population Policy will depend upon collective responsibility of Government, ministries, institutions, non-Governmental organisations, private agencies, communities, families and individuals exercised in a holistic and integrated manner.  In recognition of sub-national variations, and taking account of the nation's decentralisation programme the districts shall play a key role in the implementation of the Policy.


6.1.1    In the light of difficulties encountered in the past in realising effective co-ordination of the policy and programmes, a Population Policy Implementation and Assessment Committee (PPIAC) was inaugurated in October 1989, as an interim body to advise Government on all population and related issues pending the establishment of a National Population Council.  The activities of the PPIAC eventually led to the establishment of [the] National Population Council in May 1992.  The National Population Council was formally inaugurated on November 25, 1992.


6.2     The National Population Council (NPC)


6.2.1    The National Population Council is the highest statutory body set up to advise Government on population and related issues.  The NPC is a parastatal body located in the office of the President.  The Council's membership is made up of prominent citizens of Ghana with demonstrated interest and commitment in population and related issues as well as representatives from the National Council on Women and Development, the 31st December Women's Movement, Ghana Association of Private and Voluntary Organisations in Development, National Development Planning Commission, Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning, Ministry of Health, the Ghana Medical Association and the Trades Union Congress.  In addition, there are four co-opted members from the Christian Council, the Catholic Secretariat, the Ahmadiyya Movement and the Orthodox Moslem Council.


6.2.2    The Council has the following mandate:


i)      Recommend for Government consideration such policies or changes in population policy as it may deem necessary;


ii)     Interpret and review from time to time the population policy of the country and advise Government accordingly, taking into consideration the political, economic, socio-cultural and legal realities of the country;


iii)    Represent and/or advise Government on means of generating internal and external resources and their co-ordination to support the implementation of the population policy and programme;


iv)    Guide and promote the implementation of a comprehensive population programme, which should be integrated within the framework of the development policy of the country;


v)     Set operational targets for programme performance and expected impact and recommend strategies for their attainment;


vi)    Ensure the full participation of the private sector in attaining the set of population targets/goals;


vii)   Co-ordinate and monitor population programmes of other organisations both public and private within the country;


viii)  Function in any other ways that would promote sustainable population programmes and activities in order to improve the well-being of the people of Ghana.


6.3     Secretariat of the National Population Council


6.3.1    The NPC shall be serviced by a Secretariat which shall act as a focal point in the formulation and management of population programmes and activities throughout the country.  The Secretariat shall facilitate, monitor, co-ordinate and evaluate the implementation of the policy and programmes, foster functional linkages among sectoral ministries, institutions and agencies, and harmonize the work of the NPC at national, regional and district levels.  The Secretariat shall be headed by an Executive Director who will be Member/Secretary to the NPC.


6.3.2    The Secretariat shall carry out the following functions:


i)      Provide technical and administrative support to the National Population Council and its advisory committees;


ii)     Undertake population policy research and analysis of identified and emerging population issues and . . . propose appropriate population programmes and activities for them;


iii)    Promote, co-ordinate and harmonize population activities including family planning programmes and services in the country;


iv)    Promote and co-ordinate comprehensive population, information, education and communication policies and strategies;


v)     Establish and operationalise a national programme for research, monitoring and evaluation of population policies and programmes and . . . develop a national population data bank to facilitate the exchange and dissemination of population related information;


vi)    Identify, develop and implement the requisite human resource needs for population programmes;


vii)   Provide guidelines for various components of the population programmes with a view to ensuring their consistency within the framework of a National Development Plan;


viii)  Prepare annually a working programme and budget for the consideration and approval of the NPC;


ix)    Publish regularly an annual population report and a quarterly population newsletter;


x)     Serve as the national public relations agency on population issues affecting the country and provide background materials on population to agencies that need them;


xi)    Promote the integration of population factors in development planning;


xii)   Liaise with donor agencies with a view to regulating and co-ordinating the forms and levels of internal and external resource mobilization and distribution for purposes of population and development programmes and activities;


xiii)  Generally, co-ordinate the formulation and implementation of population policy and programmes within the country; and


xiv)  To carry out any other functions which may be assigned to it by the NPC towards the achievement of the population goals and objectives of the nation.


6.4     Technical Advisory Committees of the National Population Council


6.4.1    The National Population Council shall establish five multi-sectoral/multi-disciplinary technical advisory committees to reinforce the technical base required for its decisions.  These Committees shall bring a broader perspective to bear on the work of the Council, by collectively interrelating, pooling together and harmonising the views, concerns, needs, technical knowledge and expertise of various disciplines, sectors, agencies, and groups concerned with the population policies and programmes at national, sectoral and district levels.  The Committees shall be responsible for the following schedules of the Council:


i)      Population Policy and Programmes;

ii)     Family Planning Services;

iii)    Information, Education and Communication;

iv)    Research, Monitoring and Evaluation;

v)     Training.


6.4.2    These Committees shall carry out the following functions:


i)      Assist the NPC and the Secretariat to determine the appropriate policies, programmes and tasks pertaining to each specialised area;


ii)     Determine and sustain the working links among sectoral and participating agencies;


iii)    Suggest, provide and review appropriate guidelines for the work in each specialised area;


iv)    Advise on key and relevant technical matters relating to the implementation of population programmes;


v)     Serve as co-ordinating link between the NPC and the programme implementing agencies;


vi)    Provide other relevant technical advisory services as may be requested from time to time by the NPC.


6.5     Technical Co-ordinating Committee (TCC)


6.5.1    There shall be a Technical Co-ordinating Committee (TCC) which shall harmonise and co-ordinate the work of the various technical advisory committees.  The TCC shall be chaired by the Executive Director of the Secretariat and shall report through its Chairman to the NPC.


6.6     Decentralization


6.6.1    In line with Government's policy on decentralization, the NPC Secretariat shall work closely with the political administrative units of the country, especially the District Assemblies and the various communities to design and implement population programmes and activities.


6.7     National Development Planning Commission (NDPC)


6.7.1    The NDPC is responsible for national development planning.  The NDPC and the NPC will set the overall population goals relating to issues like population distribution and migration, fertility levels, and levels of maternal, infant and child mortality etc.  The NDPC and the NPC will collaborate in arriving at realistic goals and targets in the field of population.  The NPC will oversee the implementation of these goals.  In other words the NDPC will be doing the macro planning while the NPC will be dealing with the sector-level strategic planning in respect of population.


6.7.2    The NPC shall have the primary responsibility of working out the strategies for the attainment of the set goals.  The efforts of the NPC would therefore complement those of the NDPC.


6.8     Government Agencies


6.8.1    The Ministry of Health (MOH), being a key actor in the health needs of the population, will be encouraged to continue to play its leading role in the health sector.  Furthermore the MOH shall monitor closely the activities of private organisations in the health delivery system to ensure that resources are not over concentrated in particular areas at the expense of others.


6.8.2    Population units will be established in the Ministries of Education, Food and Agriculture, Employment and Social Welfare, Information, and Justice and given separate budgetary votes to support their activities.


6.9     Private Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)


6.9.1    The critical role that private organizations and non-Governmental organisations have been playing in the nation's development cannot be over-emphasised.


6.9.2    With the establishment of the Ghana Association of Private Voluntary Organisations in Development (GAPVOD) all voluntary organisations will be encouraged to register with GAPVOD.  In addition, GAPVOD will be assisted to co-ordinate effectively the population activities of these organisations to ensure optimum utilisation of their services.


6.10     Government and Donor Support


6.10.1    Donor Agencies and International Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have played and continue to play an important role in our development, especially in the implementation of our population policies and programmes.  It is hoped that donor agencies and international non-Governmental organisations will continue to play a vital role in the implementation of the revised policy.


6.10.2    It is expected that the structural weaknesses that have been identified in co-ordinating donor activities would be addressed.  As a first step, Government has proposed the setting up of an Inter Agency Co-ordinating Committee (IACC) to be made up of representatives of Government, Donor Agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the field of population, health and family planning.  The IACC is expected to promote greater collaboration among donor agencies themselves and between donor agencies and Government to ensure that the country derives maximum benefit from donor assistance in the implementation of the policy.


6.10.3    The IACC shall perform the following functions:     Periodically carry out needs assessment, including resource identification, for the population sector;     Develop a fruitful working relationship between Government, Donors and NGOs in the formulation and implementation of programmes and projects that shall be conceived out of the policy;     Monitor, evaluate and publish project activities as well as in project monitoring and evaluation, and financial reporting systems; and     Ensure long term planning of the national population programme which should include co-ordinated inputs from Government, multi-lateral, bi-lateral and non-Governmental sources.


6.10.4    To ensure the sustainability of population and family planning programmes, and the uninterrupted implementation of the population policy, Government will continue to make adequate human and budgetary resources to the various Ministries and Departments for the population activities.


7.0     Conclusion


The principles, strategies and institutional arrangements outlined in this revised national population policy represent the first stage in the pursuit of the national objective outlined in Article 37:  Clause 4 of the Fourth Republican Constitution (1992) which states that "The State shall maintain a population policy consistent with the aspirations and development needs and objectives of Ghana."


The successful implementation of these policy objectives is dependent on the determined effort and continuing partnership between the Government of Ghana and its constituent institutions, the private sector, non-Governmental organisations, donor agencies and more importantly, the people of Ghana.


The policy therefore represents both a challenge and an opportunity for all, institutions and individuals alike, to actively support and promote the objectives of the national population policy in all their spheres of activity to ensure a vibrant and prosperous Ghana.