Planning Democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa

Blog 5

The readings today have a lot of correlation to the planning problems facing developing countries especially sub-Saharan African countries. Looking at planning in Ghana for example from outside the Ghanaian perspective, I ask myself whether planning is done in the interest of the individual citizen in the city? I would be analyzing planning in Ghana to deduce whether or not planning activities are done in the interest of the ordinary citizen. There are numerous examples in Ghana where developmental and economic activities have negatively impacted the ecosystem. What has to encourage less regard for the environment and how can that be addressed in planning would be discussed. I would also touch on the unfairness in placing restrictions on developing countries in the name of the greenhouse effect. I would conclude with democracy in planning, which I call “planning democracy” and how to ease capitalist control of resources in poorer economies.

 

What I always see when I am in Ghana is a bunch of hosing placed randomly. Despite the fact that there is a planning office in every district, the division and allocation of land resources have not been influenced by planning. Every city competes for growth and development but the question remains whether that growth is fair. Is it the rich people bribing the planning department to evacuate poor houses and slums? Or the rich bribing planning departments to rezone people’s farms for commercial malls? I would argue that planning does not serve the broader interest in growth in developing economies, for example, Ghana. A 2008 report by Addo Koranteng at the University of Applied Science in Eberswald, Germany lamented deforestation in Ghana. The researcher argued about the wrongness of the rate at which forests are being cut down in the name growth. When forests are downed, farmers lose their farms and poverty arise for the poor.

 

There was a statement in the Scott Campbell’s article that stated something about restrictions on developing economies. Our world knows now that certain economic and developmental activities place a lot of harm into the world. These are activities that have been previously employed by developed countries to achieve riches. The consequences of these activities are now placing severe harm on some developing countries, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa. A country like the Republic of Niger is experiencing severe droughts as a result of excessive heat due to climate change. Placing a restriction on these countries will only make them poorer. How can planning be used in enhancing equality in growth and development in countries like Niger? It is rather necessary to look for ways in influencing equal growth in developing countries than placing restrictions that may hinder development.

 

Whether I like it or not, capitalism has affected planning in developing countries. Democracy in planning goes beyond just voting representatives to manage planning. But how sure are we that the people voted in power did not pay their way into those positions? There is no democracy in planning done in developing countries. The planning is done to the benefit of the rich who pay for certain changes to be done to favor their gain. A money hungry like Ghana are filled with planning offices that will plan at the expense of the ecosystem and the poor in the society. Incorporating of public interest in planning for the development of land has been affected by selfish activities. Planners in developing economies are not the mediators neither are they the listeners to the subordinate group

 

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